Serena Williams found out she was expecting her first child just two days before the Australian Open.
In a TED Talk interview with Gayle King this week, the tennis great revealed she was “nervous” about playing while pregnant but managed to buckle down and focus on the task at hand. “It wasn’t very easy,” she said. “You hear all these stories about people when they’re pregnant — they get sick, they get really tired, really stressed out… I had to really take all that energy and put it in a paper bag, so to say, and throw it away.”
“Pregnant or not, no one knew, and I was supposed to win that tournament as I am every tournament that I show up [for],” she added. “If I don’t win, it’s actually much bigger news.”
Williams did win that tournament in January — her seventh Australian Open title. And when she announced her pregnancy to the world last week, social media users pointed to that victory as further proof of her status as the “greatest of all time.” Others questioned how a pregnant woman could accomplish such a feat.