Thursday 19 October 2017 / 02:24 PM

NEW MUM SERENA CONFIDENT OF RETURNING TO TENNIS’ PEAK

Serena Williams has introduced the world to her first child, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr, named after her fiancé, reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

The 23-time grand slam singles champion posted a loving picture to her Instagram account.

Williams also mentioned “a number of complications” during the pregnancy, after she and her baby girl were kept in hospital for six or seven days, but did not elaborate further.

Last week her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, said a longer recovery could potentially affect her hopes of returning to the tour in time to defend her Australian Open title in January.

Williams won the Australian Open title earlier this year while she was eight weeks pregnant. Only her sister Venus – who she coincidentally defeated in the final, and four other people knew Serena was pregnant while she triumphed at the first grand slam of the year.

Williams continued to train during her pregnancy, although she did not compete in any further tournaments this season.

The determined former world number one firmly has her sights set on overtaking Margaret Court’s all time record of 24 major titles.

“As soon as we feel she is ready to compete, she will. If that is Australia, that’s great. If it’s a bit later, that’s fine,” Mouratoglou told Eurosport.

“She says she still has things to achieve in tennis. She is both a tennis player and a mother, and she has to deal with both of them. She wants to be able to win slams otherwise she will stop.

“For Serena, anything is possible. I cannot put any kind of limit on her. Any time I’ve thought she won’t make it, she did. Which I don’t do any more.”

Serena also revealed her plans to return to the tour so soon after giving birth was extreme.

“It’s the most outrageous plan,” Williams said in a lengthy interview with Vogue earlier this year.

“I just want to put that out there. That’s like, three months after I give birth.

“I’m not walking anything back, but I’m just saying that’s pretty intense.”

Meanwhile, while Serena has been enjoying a break from the circuit, sister Venus has soared back into the top five players in the world during a career renaissance.

Venus reached the fourth round at the French Open, the final at Wimbledon and the semi-final at the US Open. It was the first time she had returned to the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows since 2010.

An ageless Venus also intends to return to Melbourne and repeat her run to the finals in January.

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Alyssia Varricchio

Alyssia Varricchio is a sports reporter, journalist and producer based in Melbourne.

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