2017 Year in Review: Expectant
Serena Wins 23rd Slam
Mark Preston | December 6, 2017
Love-15: As 2017 draws to a close, USTA.com is taking a look back at the top 15 storylines, headlines and highlights from the year in American tennis. Up now: Serena Williams’ Open-era record 23rd Grand Slam singles title at the 2017 Aussie Open.
Certainly, it was headline-making news in its own right: Serena Williams winning her 23rd Grand Slam singles title at January’s Australian Open, breaking the tie she’d held with Steffi Graf for most in the Open era and leaving her just one major crown behind Margaret Court for most all-time.
What was even more impressive: Williams set the record by capturing her record seventh career Aussie Open crown without the loss of a set, sweeping her way into the final, where she easily ousted her sister Venus, 6-4, 6-4, to claim the title and a return to the top spot in the women’s game.ADVERTISEMENT
But the magnitude of Williams’ record-setting feat became even more impressive a couple of months later. In an April Instagram post, the sport’s No. 1 revealed that she was 20 weeks pregnant. A quick check of the math confirmed that she was two months pregnant during the Aussie Open, meaning that she’d won her 23rd major singles title while technically playing doubles.
On Sept. 1, Williams and then-fiance, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, welcomed daughter Alexis Olympia into the world, and on Nov. 16, the proud parents were married in a sparkling ceremony in New Orleans – a perfect ending to a fairytale year for the women’s game’s top talent.
But motherhood hardly means an ending to Williams’ playing career. In fact, the former (and likely future) No. 1 is back on court, prepping for a return to the tour in early 2018, perhaps even in time to defend her title in Melbourne and, just maybe, claim her first major as a mom.