A few hours ago, Serena Williams – 23-time Grand Slam champion, living legend, Queen, Life and Soul of the WTA tour – posted an image on SnapChat. The picture showed Williams in a yellow swimsuit, looking just a little larger than usual. The caption on the selfie read “20 weeks”.
And it didn’t take 20 seconds for Twitter, Facebook, Google and the entire world to blow up with the news that Serena Williams was pregnant.
It makes the perfect headline. “Tennis Queen Serena Williams breaks Steffi Graf’s Grand Slam Record Whilst Carrying Baby”, etcetera. Ironically, this is the one woman for whom the scenario is utterly believable. Nevertheless, here are seven things to bear in mind as we await real confirmation – or otherwise – of the news.
1. SERENA NEVER ACTUALLY SAID SHE WAS PREGNANT.
“20 weeks”. That was it. With an emoji of a taco beside her name. In case you were not aware, Serena loves her tacos.
2. SERENA DELETED HER SNAP.
Hands up, I’m admitting to not having SnapChat (largely to do with it not being available on Windows phones.) But I am reliably informed that a SnapChat story can last a maximum of 24 hours. And after 20 minutes there was not a trace of Serena’s viral snap. Only screenshots.
3. THE WTA DELETED THEIR CONGRATULATORY TWEET.
So either they were taking precautions… Or somebody had got in touch.
4. THE DAILY MAIL IS NOT RELIABLE.
Nor are many of the other ‘leading’ news sources that spread the word of Serena’s impending motherhood, but if I were to single one out…
5. EVERYONE HAD THE SAME, LONE SOURCE.
Serena’s snap. Now deleted. Go figure.
6. SERENA LOVES A GOOD JOKE.
She once invented a woman called Heidi (complete with Facebook profile) to kid her former hitting partner Sascha Bajin. Just for the laughs. And it caused the rest of us many of them. Nevertheless, if this latest incident turns out to be a joke… it blows that one out of the water. For multiple reasons.
7. IT’S MARIA SHARAPOVA’S BIRTHDAY.
Serena Williams leads the head-to-head with her drugs-banned non-rival 19-2, but – whether true or not – this ‘announcement’ skyrockets the total to 29-2. Sharapova’s suspension has kept her at the sidelines for nearly 15 months. And now, the week before the Russian’s return to the tennis scene, Serena has kept her out of the limelight as she celebrates the big three-oh.
And just to rub it in, the American is back to world number one on Monday.
Who would put it past Serena to steal the headlines on the big day of the woman she has never been friends with?
GAME, SET, MATCH: MISS WILLIAMS.
Thanks for reading! Still pretty busy at the moment, but I thought I had better resurrect The Tennis Journal to comment on the SnapChat selfie that has become a worldwide muddle. I’ll be writing regularly again come May!