by Alex Poletti
Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images
Chinese tennis player Wang Qiang shocked the world on Thursday by beating Serena Williams in the third round of the Australian Open, marking the all-time great’s earliest exit at the tournament since 2006. To justify the upset to the media, Williams tells The Second String that she is considering having another child.
“I won the 2017 Australian Open when I was pregnant,” Williams says. “Now, I feel like losing without the added stress of bearing a child doesn’t sit very well with the fans. Maybe if I was pregnant again, they’d at least get it a little bit.”
Williams is still searching for the coveted 24th Grand Slam singles title, which would tie her with Margaret Court for the most in Tennis history. After the loss to Wang, she’ll have to wait until May for a chance to tie the record at the French Open.
“I’m not pregnant now, but if I start trying immediately, we could figure something out,” Williams reckons. “I could fudge the numbers a bit to make it work. If the baby comes out prematurely, then we’d be good to go.”
Currently ranked as the ninth best player on the WTA Tour, Williams has been having a bit of a Grand Slam drought, with her amazing 2017 Australian Open run being her last victory. Still, the narrative of every Grand Slam centers around her performance, good or bad.
Qiang on the other hand is a relatively unknown player on the tour, having only won two singles titles in her WTA career. Before this, her Grand Slam history was not very storied, having made the quarterfinals only once at the US Open last year. While she is among the best 30 players in the world, she doesn’t have the household recognition of her third-round opponent.
“I have to figure out what is easier for sports fans to swallow,” Williams says. “The fact that I am pregnant despite there being no evidence, and it being physically impossible for me to prove so in nine months’ time, or trying to get a predominantly-male sports media to realize that the number of great female tennis players extends beyond me and Maria Sharapova, and that it is not surprising given the depth of competition that such an event as this could happen.”
Given the feasibility of the two options, Serena has already started planning to find a way to test positive on a pregnancy test before the beginning of March.