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June 26, 2018 11:15 AM

If any woman proves that moms can do it all, it’s Serena Williams.

The tennis champion, who welcomed daughter Alexis Olympia last September, famously won her 23rd Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open in January 2017 while eight weeks pregnant, a feat she admitted was the most badass thing she’s ever done.

“Oh absolutely! I was two months pregnant. I was literally nine weeks by the end of the tournament. Every day that passed I thought, ‘This is a dream,'” Williams, 35, tells InStyle for her cover story in the magazine’s first-ever “Badass Women” issue.

“I had a really tough first round and an even tougher second round. I thought, ‘I’m probably going to lose early. That’s OK. I have a good excuse for the first time,'” she adds.

And now that she’s back on the court — Williams returned for her first match (and won!) six months after giving birth to Olympia at the Indian Wells BNP Paribas Open — the star does admit she needs to find quite the balance between motherhood and tennis.

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“I’m in the locker room pumping before a match because my boobs are so big. When I pump, they go down a size or two and I go out and play,” Williams tells the magazine. 

Photographed for InStyle by Robbie Fimmano

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But ultimately, now that she is a mom, Williams always makes sure her daughter comes first. “I sneak away to practice, usually around 8 a.m. The only rule I have at practice is to be done at 1 p.m., because as much as I love tennis, I need to be with her. I want to put her above everything else I’m doing,” she says.“Since she was born, I haven’t been apart from her for more than a day.”

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Photographed for InStyle by Robbie Fimmano

When it comes to the possibility of trying for a second baby with husband Alexis Ohanian, Williams thinks she may have to officially step away from tennis.

She says, “If I weren’t working, I’d already be pregnant…I don’t know if I want to play if I have another baby…”

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