Pregnant tennis superstar Serena Williams appears discreetly nude on the cover of the August issue of Vanity Fair, in an Annie Leibovitz photo that mimics the photographer’s famed cover of a pregnant Demi Moore in 1991.
“Question- what do u guys think boy or girl?” the 35-year-old Williams tweeted Tuesday with a photo of the cover. “I’m waiting to find out but would love to hear your thoughts.”
In the accompanying story, speaking publicly for the first time about her pregnancy, Williams confesses that “it just doesn’t seem real. I don’t know why. Am I having a baby? If you would have told me last year [that] in October or November [this year] that I would have a baby, not be pregnant but have a baby, I would have thought you were the biggest liar in the world. This is kind of how I am right now. This is happening sooner than later, and it’s going by so fast.”
On April 18, she posted a Snapchat selfie showing herself visibly pregnant, captioning it “20 weeks.” The WTA’s No. 4-ranked tennis player became engaged on Dec. 10 to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, 34.
She told Vanity Fair that in January while training for the Australian Open, she had felt odd. Her friend Jessica Steindorff urged her to take a pregnancy test, a suggestion Williams resisted for two days. She eventually did so while preparing for a promotional event. After testing positive, she thought, “How am I going to play the Australian Open? I had planned on winning Wimbledon this year.” She went on to win the Australian Open, but will be absent from the Wimbledon tournament, taking place July 3-16.
In related news, Williams tweeted a response Monday to retired tennis great John McEnroe, who some felt had denigrated her during an NPR interview on Sunday. While lauding Williams as the “best female player ever — no question,” McEnroe, 58, went on to say that “if she played the men’s circuit she’d be, like, 700 in the world.”
“Dear John,” Williams wrote, “I adore and respect you but please please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based. I’ve never played anyone ranked ‘there’ nor do I have time. Respect me and my privacy as I’m trying to have a baby. Good day sir.”