If any woman proves that moms can do it all, it’s Serena Williams.
The tennis champion, who welcomed daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. 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.
It’s our first-ever Badass Women™ Issue, and the badass of ALL badasses covers it: Serena Williams. She’s a champion, mother, wife, businesswoman, and one of the greatest tennis players of all time — but she’s also just Serena. “Someone who’s a badass is incredibly confident and unapologetically herself. And she doesn’t care what anyone else says — but in a positive, not a negative, way. It’s more like standing up for yourself and others.” Click the link in bio for @SerenaWilliams’s full interview with @LauraBrown99. #BadassWomenIssue #InStyleBadassWomen I Photographed by @RobbieFimmano
And now that she’s back on the court — Williams returned for her first match (and won!) six months after giving birth to Alexis at the Indian Wells BNP Paribas Open — the star does admit she needs to find quite the balance between motherhood and tennis.
Looking for more style content? Click here to subscribe to the PeopleStyle Newsletter for amazing shopping discounts, can’t-live-without beauty products and more.
“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.
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.”
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…”