(AP) – Tennis champion Serena Williams and fiancé Alexis Ohanian have welcomed their first child into the world.
The six-time US Open champion gave birth to a baby girl at a hospital near her home in Palm Beach, prompting congratulatory messages to begin circulating on social media.
Williams announced her pregnancy with Reddit co-founder Alexis Olhanian in April by posting a selfie on Snapchat with the caption “20 weeks”.
The US Open was among the first to tweet the news.
Reports claimed that an entire floor of the St Mary’s Medical Centre had been cleared to offer Williams maximum privacy.
“Obviously I’m super excited,” said the baby’s aunt, Venus Williams, as she took the court at the US Open. “Words can’t describe.”
Citing a source from St Mary’s Medical Centre in West Palm Beach, where Williams reportedly checked in on Wednesday to be induced, WPBF editor Patricia Storm said the new addition weighed in at 3.09 kilograms and was delivered via Caesarean section. Both mother and baby are said to be healthy.
In the September editon of Vogue, Williams revealed her “strong suspicion” she was having a girl.
“Alexis thinks we’re having a boy, but I have a strong suspicion that it’s a girl,” she said. “Two weeks after we found out, I played the Australian Open. I told Alexis it has to be a girl because there I was playing in 100-degree weather, and that baby never gave me any trouble. Ride or die. Women are tough that way.”
Beyonce congratulated the new mother on Instagram.
Williams has won a total of 23 Grand Slam singles titles during her career, placing her second on the all-time record list behind Margaret Court.
Williams has a slew of records to her name, including as the only tennis player to have won 10 Grand Slam singles titles in two separate decades. She is also the only player to have won two of the four Grand Slams – Wimbeldon and the Australian Open – seven times each.
In the Vogue interview, the 35-year-old also revealed that she “definitely” plans to return to the court.
“It’s hard to figure out what the end of your tennis career should look like,” she says. “I used to think I’d want to retire when I have kids, but no. I’m definitely coming back. Walking out there and hearing the crowd, it may seem like nothing. But there’s no better feeling in the world.”