On Sunday, Serena Williams celebrated her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.’s second birthday with a win over Petra Martic, 6-3, 6-4, in the fourth round of the US Open. Olympia—Serena’s only child with husband Alexis Ohanian—was born on September 1, 2017, seven months after the American claimed her 23rd major at the Australian Open.
“Two years ago I had things attached to my arm, IVs, and it was a miracle that happened, having my baby,” Serena said after her third-round win over Karolina Muchova. “It was really a great day for me. Then it all went downhill (smiling). It all went downhill after that for a good five days.”
Since returning from maternity leave in March of 2018, the 37-year-old American has reached three Grand Slam finals—twice at Wimbledon and at the 2018 US Open controversial final against Naomi Osaka.
“Well, I can't be presumptuous and say that's because of me. I think it's because of these young women and their parents and coaches want them to do something amazing,” she said. “I think tennis is a great sport for females and it's a great way to showcase your personality, be yourself, make a great living and still do something that you absolutely love.”
In the quarterfinals, Serena—who took a medical timeout to tend to a tweaked right ankle in the second set of her round of 16 match—will aim to get past Wang Qiang, who upended French Open champion and second-seeded Ashleigh Barty's campaign, 6-2, 6-4. For the fourth consecutive time, the 23-time Grand Slam champion will face a player for the first time.
Off the court, Serena is getting ready for her New York Fashion Week, where she will hold a fashion show for her fashion line, Serena. An IMG-owned international show that showcases exclusive designers, it kicks off September 6—one day before the women’s final.
“I'm, like, Okay, Serena, make sure you stay focused on your tennis," said Serena. "But also, I do want to have a successful brand, and I do want my company to continue to do well and to continue to be great.”
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