Thu, Apr 27, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Pregnancy announcement accidental: Serena


Maria Sharapova returns during a training session for the Stuttgart Open in Germany yesterday.

Photo: AP

Serena Williams had no intention of sharing her pregnancy with the world last week, but spilled the beans when she accidentally uploaded the “20 weeks” photograph of herself on Snapchat, the world No. 1 said on Tuesday.

Williams, who was wearing a yellow swimsuit in the selfie, deleted the post, but later confirmed her pregnancy via her publicist after frenzied speculation.

She told the TED conference in Vancouver that the photo was intended only for her personal records.

“I have this thing where I’ve been checking my status and taking pictures every week to see how far along I’m getting,” the 35-year-old said in an on-stage chat with journalist Gayle King. “I was just saving them [for myself]. I’ve been so good about it, but this was the one time it slipped.”

Williams said she had found out she was pregnant only two days before the Australian Open in January, which she won.

“It wasn’t very easy. You hear all these stories about people when they’re pregnant — they get sick, they get really tired, really stressed out,” she said. “I had to really take all that energy and put it in a paper bag, so to say, and throw it away.”

Meanwhile, WTA chief executive Steve Simon has defended the wild-card entry awarded to former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova for the Stuttgart Open following her 15-month doping ban.

While some say the five-times Grand Slam champion, initially banned for two years after testing positive for Meldonium at last year’s Australian Open, has done her time, some fellow players are angry the red carpet is being rolled out.

Sharapova was to play Italian Roberta Vinci in the round-of-32 at the Stuttgart Open yesterday and Simon believes the ban was more extensive than previous offenders.

“You have to look at how other leagues and tours have handled players who have come back,” Simon told BBC Sport. “They come right back to the team and start playing.”

On the court, it was a dismal day for Taiwanese in Germany and Turkey.

In the doubles in Stuttgart, Chuang Chia-jung and partner Liang Chen of China lost to Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke 7-5, 6-1, while in the women’s singles at the Istanbul Cup Italy’s Sara Errani defeated Hsieh Su-wei 6-0, 6-1 and Anna Kalinskaya of Russia beat Chang Kai-chen 6-1, 6-3.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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