"It’s going to be something incredibly impressive to go through," first-time mom-to-be Serena Williams says of impending childbirth

By Jen Juneau
August 08, 2017 05:00 PM
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Serena Williams may not have any experience in motherhood, but she’s ready for anything it serves her way.

The 35-year-old expectant tennis pro talked to Australian magazine Stellar about how her pregnancy has already prepared her for what’s to come this fall.

“I have so much respect for so many women [for giving birth],” says Williams. “I am about to be a real woman now, you know? It’s going to be something incredibly impressive to go through.”

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The athlete’s baby on the way is the first for her and fiancé Alexis Ohanian, whom she says she suspects will pick up on parenting skills more quickly than she will through a “Daddy’s class” he’ll be taking soon.

“I need a Baby 101 class — they don’t have one for the women!” says Williams, who is due in September. “He’ll probably know more [than me] after his four-hour course.”

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The reigning Australian Open champion (she won while pregnant!) tells Stellar that the “scariest thing” about childbirth is how it might affect her game.

“[But] I think [giving birth] will give me more strength, if that’s possible, and a lot more confidence,” Williams says. “I feel like I will be ready for anything.”

But despite her optimism, Williams is candid when it comes to the idea of giving birth. “I don’t think watching birthing videos helps,” she admits. “I actually think it makes it worse. Having a baby, nothing is guaranteed.”

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Williams and Reddit co-founder Ohanian, 34, are waiting when it comes to certain aspects of their child (to find out the sex, for example). But one thing they’re in agreement about is instilling the concept of humility into their little one.

“No matter what’s happened, I am the most level-headed person you will ever meet. I am no better than anyone else,” the mom-to-be says of the way she was raised. “It’s something we are working on: ‘How do we keep our baby humble?’ ”

Adds Williams, who is a Jehovah’s Witness, “We haven’t come up with an answer yet, but having a strong spiritual background helps. I really think we have to keep referencing the importance of humility.”

Serena Williams/Snapchat

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Williams says she “like[s] to do things natural” and plans to breastfeed her baby, plus take the rest of the year off of competing before participating in the next Australian Open in January — where her new addition will likely be in attendance.

“I would imagine [the baby] would come everywhere with me,” she tells Stellar.

But just because Williams is dedicated to her sport doesn’t mean she will push her son or daughter to be involved in it as well.

“If they want to be a piano player, I’m here to support them. I’m not going to say, ‘You have to play tennis,’ ” she says. “I wouldn’t even put a tennis racket in their hand. That may be a little bit of pressure. What they want to do is up to them.”

Serena Williams/Instagram

Williams confesses that she isn’t sure where she will be in 10 years, but that “hopefully” she “will have more kids” — and still be speaking out to “promote diversity” and “break down barriers.”

“There are barriers I hope to break so my baby, whether boy or girl, won’t have to live under those stipulations,” she explains. “I definitely am a feminist. I like to stick up for women and women’s rights. So many things happen and I just think, ‘Wow, why don’t we have a chance?’ If that makes me a feminist, I am proud to be one.”