Serena Williams Covers 'Vogue' with Daughter Olympia as She Reveals Plans for a Second Baby

"I definitely don't want to be pregnant again as an athlete. I need to be two feet into tennis or two feet out," the tennis star admits

Serena Williams Vogue
Photo: Luis Alberto Rodriguez

Serena Williams is shifting her focus from Grand Slams to growing a family.

The tennis legend, 40, opened up in a first-person essay for Vogue about her decision to begin an "evolution" away from tennis and her hopes of adding another little one to her family of three.

The mom to 4-year-old daughter Olympia, who is featured on the September 2022 Vogue cover alongside Williams, reveals that she and husband Alexis Ohanian have been trying for a second baby.

"In the last year, Alexis and I have been trying to have another child, and we recently got some information from my doctor that put my mind at ease and made me feel that whenever we're ready, we can add to our family," she writes. "I definitely don't want to be pregnant again as an athlete. I need to be two feet into tennis or two feet out."

The athlete, who will try to win a history-making 24th Grand Slam victory at the U.S. Open at the end of the month, notes that she was two months pregnant with Olympia when she won the Australian Open in 2017. But this time around, she says, "something's got to give."

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Serena Williams Vogue
Luis Alberto Rodriguez

Speaking about when she returned to the sport after Olympia's birth, Williams writes, "I went from a C-section to a second pulmonary embolism to a grand slam final. I played while breastfeeding. I played through postpartum depression. But I didn't get there."

"Shoulda, woulda, coulda. I didn't show up the way I should have or could have. But I showed up 23 times, and that's fine. Actually it's extraordinary. But these days, if I have to choose between building my tennis résumé and building my family, I choose the latter," she adds.

Serena Williams and daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian
Serena Williams/Instagram

Williams also reveals she "never thought about having kids" when beginning her career.

"There were times when I've wondered if I should ever bring kids into this world, with all its problems. I was never that confident or comfortable around babies or children, and I figured that if I ever did have a baby, I would have people taking care of it 24/7," she explains.

Though she has "a lot of support," Williams says she's also an "incredibly hands-on mother" to Olympia.

"In five years, Olympia has only spent one 24-hour period away from me. This past year, while I was recovering from a hamstring injury, I got to pick her up from school four or five days a week, and I always looked forward to seeing her face light up when she walked out of the building and saw me waiting there for her," says the four-time Olympic gold medalist. "The fact is that nothing is a sacrifice for me when it comes to Olympia."

As for Olympia, Williams makes it clear her daughter is excited about the opportunity to have a younger sibling.

"We're in my car, and she's holding my phone, using an interactive educational app she likes," Williams recalls. "This robot voice asks her a question: What do you want to be when you grow up? She doesn't know I'm listening, but I can hear the answer she whispers into the phone. She says, 'I want to be a big sister.' "

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