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Venus Williams

9 Moms Competed in 2020 US Open Tennis, Mom Victoria Azarenka Wins Runner Up



This year’s US Open featured nine mothers, the most ever in tournament history.

Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Tsvetana Pironkova made the final rounds and Kim Clijsters, Vera Zvonareva, Tatjana Maria, Olga Govortsova, Kateryna Bondarenko and Patricia Maria Tig were formidable opponents in the early rounds.

Williams is featured in a lot of campaigns that celebrate woment’s professional tennis players who are mothers

And this year, there has been a lot of celebration of semi-finalist Azarenka who gave birth of her son, Leo, after winning back to back Australian Opens titles in 2012 and 2013.

She once thought pregnancy would end her career.

When asked about her come back durind the press conference after the 27 seed upset fellow Belarusianto, 5th seed  Aryna Sabalenka , she said:

“Pretty incredible, huh?”

“Well, there is a lot that goes into it in terms of balancing, you know, a lot of things, and juggling two things.

“But identifying myself or other players just as mothers, I think that’s not the only thing that we are. I think we are part of, you know, being a mother, we are also tennis players. We are also women who have dreams and goals and passions.

“So that’s, I think, being a role as a mom. Everybody has their own priority, they have their own list of where they rank being a mother is, but we are not – it’s not just being a mother. Your life doesn’t stop.”

She had custody battles with her son’s dad and had to overcome several injuries and other personal issues to almost triumph once again.

And finally, she has joined Williams as a leader and advocate for fellow female competitors:

Last year, Azarenka and Williams, along with Venus Williams, Johanna Konta and several other stars, successfully campaigned for the introduction of improved ranking protection for expectant mothers playing on the circuit.

Prior to the 2019 season, female players had to return from giving birth or injury within three years to be able to utilize a special ranking for eight tour events in a year.

However, this year, players returning from childbirth or injury can use their previously held ranking to enter up to 12 tournaments during a three-year period.

They will also not be required to face a seeded player in the first round of a tournament. Azarenka said: “We have the power to change the rules and we have done.” The 29-year-old says that “is what [she] wants [her] legacy to be”.

Azarenka, Williams, Clisters and all the moms are proving that mothers can do it all.

Kim Clijsters won three of her 4 Grand Slams after the birth of her child.

Lindsay Davenport won 3 of her 55 Career titles after giving birth to her son.

And Olympic Gold medalist and seven times Grand slam winner, in 1914, Dorothea Lambert Chambers became the first mother to win a Grand Slam crown.

Victoria Azarenka feared pregnancy would end her tennis career

Victoria Azarenka: Back playing tennis with a smile on her face. photo by Tatiana

When Belarusian tennis ace Victoria Azarenka announced her surprise pregnancy, she feared that she would never play professional tennis again, despite confirming her intentions to return to the court after giving birth. Azarenka was ranked sixth in the WTA world rankings at that point and had just celebrated landing her 20th WTA tour title.

In a recent interview, Azarenka said that when she was forced to cut her 2016 season short, she admitted her initial thought was “oh my god, I’m never going to play tennis again”.

Ending her 2016 campaign was like “ripping off a band aid” to Azarenka. She admitted that she cried down the phone to her mother, but soon realised that she didn’t know what she was crying about.

Azarenka eventually took to motherhood like a duck to water. She said that after giving birth to baby son, Leo, in December 2016, she “felt so much stronger physically” and that her “body finally matured into being a woman”.

She returned to the WTA circuit in June 2017 and went deep into the fourth round at Wimbledon, which was a big achievement considering her nine-month absence.

Azarenka’s decided to return to tennis quickly after giving birth, around the same time as Serena Williams, who recently opened up about her insecurities as a mom, announced her own pregnancy, This brought the WTA’s maternity policies into the spotlight once again.

Last year, Azarenka and Williams, along with Venus Williams, Johanna Konta and several other stars, successfully campaigned for the introduction of improved ranking protection for expectant mothers playing on the circuit.

Prior to the 2019 season, female players had to return from giving birth or injury within three years to be able to utilize a special ranking for eight tour events in a year. However, this year, players returning from childbirth or injury can use their previously held ranking to enter up to 12 tournaments during a three-year period.

They will also not be required to face a seeded player in the first round of a tournament. Azarenka said: “We have the power to change the rules and we have done.” The 29-year-old says that “is what [she] wants [her] legacy to be”.



Azarenka is one of the most competitive players on the WTA tour. Photo by Christian Mesiano

On the court, 2018 marked a solid return to action for Azarenka, who returned inside the top 100 in the WTA world rankings. A semi-final run at the Miami Open was arguably the stand-out moment that underlined her return to form.

However, at Wimbledon, she would reach the mixed doubles final, partnering Scotsman Jamie Murray.

At the beginning of this year, Azarenka finally managed to return to one of her favorite events, the Australian Open, after being forced to pull out of the previous year’s tournament due to her ongoing custody battle.

Although the Belarusian slipped to a disappointing first round loss to Laura Siegemund in Melbourne, Azarenka has since enjoyed greater success both in singles and doubles.

In the former, she battled her way to the final of the WTA Monterrey Open, before having to retire in the second set against defending champ, Garbine Muguruza.

She also bagged some silverware in the doubles, winning in the Abierto Mexicano Telcel hard court tournament with partner, Zheng Saisai.

Hard courts have always been favoured by Azarenka, due largely to her aggressive baseline style. She has two Australian Open titles to her name, but the US Open is the other hard court Grand Slam that has alluded her thus far.]

In terms of the leading female contenders to win the US Open, Azarenka is probably in the top 20.

Age is obviously not on her side, but Williams has proven that this doesn’t have to be an issue. Japanese starlet, Naomi Osaka will be looking to retain her crown after winning her first Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows last year.

There are two Grand Slams to play between now and then. However. Azarenka is yet to reach a final at either the French Open or Wimbledon. Whether she is likely to do so this season is up for debate.

Nevertheless, as of May 2019, Azarenka’s world ranking now stands at 43. Less than three years after announcing her pregnancy, it may have been a long road back towards the world’s top 50, but she is making inroads month by month to get back to her best.

Inside Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian’s Wedding (PHOTOS and LINK)

Tennis Champ Serena Williams wed Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian in a Beauty and the Beast-themed wedding at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans on Thursday. The photos to the elegant affair were released today,  Friday.

The event, held at the, featured an A-List of celebrity guests including her sister Venus Williams, singers Beyonce, Kelly Rowland and Ciara with their husbands , Kim Kardashian-West, actress Eva Longoria, Anna Wintour and more.

The reception started outdoors and spilled into the exposed brick wall lined gallery. The bridal party walked down a runway during their entrance. The bride wore a stunning Alexander McQueen princess gown and changed into another shorter and longer feathered Versace dress with blinged out custom Nikes.

Her daughter Olympia with her new husband was featured prominently at the event in a cute little flower girl dress, walked in being carried by  Serena’s mom Oracene Price. The couple said their personal vows over a floral arch.

Revived R&B 90s boy band group New Edition performed and Tony Award winner Cynthia Erivo did an impromptu performance of “A Natural Woman.” Serena and Alexis performing their choreographed first dance to “Tale As Old As Time.”

Guests walked home with party favors that were tiny tennis trophies with the names of famous tennis greats emblazoned on them. An antique carousel was featured prominently inside the gallery.

The reception included several banquet style tables with the bride and groom sitting in throne-like golden chairs.

Williams took to Instagram on Friday to share a stunning shot of herself in her Alexander McQueen princess gown and the Groom wore Giorgio Armani. You can see the beautiful photos over at Vogue which assembled a lovely slideshow! 

Inside Serena Williams’ 50s-Themed Baby Shower (PHOTOS)

Serena Williams celebrated the impending arrival of her first child at a celeb-studded 1950s themes baby shower at Nick’s 50’s Diner in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Our Bellyitch Bumpwatch alums Ciara and Kelly Rowland; and our fashion style faves Eva Longoria and La La Anthony, and her fellow Tennis star sister Venus Williams  were among the guests that came outfitted in the theme and took turns taking pics in front of a cherry red truck parked in the front of the restaurant.

Serena Williams had a star-studded baby shower and the tennis champ opted to give her pals a blast from the past with her 1950s-themed celebration today at Nick’s 50’s Diner in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Williams and her fiance Alex Ohanian are expecting their first child this Summer.

Several of the party goers took to social media to post images and video from the fun-filled party and most hashtagged the event: “#ShakeRattleandRoll2017.” Check out some of the pics:

4th of July Ready: Serena Williams Dons a Stars and Stripes Maternity Swimsuit

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Serena Williams has reached that critical point in her pregnancy when she’s run out of swimsuit options, she said in a Snapchat and Instagram stories share.

The tennis champ shared video and pics of herself modeling a Stars and Stripes one piece maternity suit and matching coverup from Target.

“Just came back from Target,” the biz mogul quipped on the video. This is about all I can fit.”

She acessorized her look with her signature tennis visor. What a great endorsement for Target which sells Maternity suits for about $25!

Williams and her fiancé Alexis Ohanian are the Expecting their first child together. This past April, Williams accidentally snapped the news via a monthly progression photo she thought she was privately sharing.

She has had to miss the French Open and will miss Wimbledon this year, leaving the field wide open to underlings and less successful players, her sister Venus included.

Venus has a condition and clay isn’t her surface so she didn’t make it too far in the French but I am hopeful for Wimbledon, which was her fist major. I remember it very well.

Oh and congrats to their dad, Richard Williams, who is poised to be inducted into the African Tennis Association‘s brand new  Hall of Fame!

Serena Williams Clarifies: Venus Williams’ Accidental Gender Reveal Wasn’t What We Think

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Serena Williams was in PR fix mode recently after her sister Venus Williams appeared to have revealed the gender of her baby. While being interviewed following her first round French Open win, big sister Venus told a reporter that she hopes the baby will have her name.

“She’s going to call me ‘favorite aunt,'” Venus said during her post-match interview with Eurosport after winning the second round of the French Open on Wednesday.. “Every day we’re like, ‘Baby Vee, baby Isher, baby Lyn,’ so we all want the baby to be named after us.”

Not so fast, Serena relayed in an Instagram post essentially saying the pronoun “he” is not common in their household so that’s the reason Venus used that word. Hmmm….

“To clarify what Venus said, I am always joking with my sisters to see what favors I can get them [to] do for me next,” Serena Williams wrote in the “words” photo. “If I want something from one of my sisters, I say ‘Baby Venus, Baby Lyn, or Baby Isha needs it.’ I did not grow up with any brothers, only sisters and we all say ‘she’ more than ‘he.’ ”

 

Serena has previously said she planned to wait until the birth to reveal the baby’s gender.

“I think the surprise of knowing what you are going to have on that very special day you give birth is probably the best surprise you can ever have,” she said. 

Now we will know it is the truth if they have a boy! The Grand Slam champ accidentally announced on Snapchat this past Aprail that she and co-founder of Reddit Alexis Ohanian are expecting their first child.

If We’re Taking Bets, We Think Serena Williams Will Get Married Next Month

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We guessed because Beyonce had a Push Party that she was due pretty soon to start pushing. Now, we’re thinking bout the fact that tennis champ Serena Williams had a bridal shower three weeks ago that she will marry her fiance Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian sooner than later.

This means before baby arrives later in the year.

And she, like a lot of celebs, are cool with being low key and keeping their plans out of the public until they happen.  We only saw pics of the two-day bridal shower held at Miami, Florida’s 1 Hotel and Homes South Beach. and its Bamford Haybarn Spa after the event in PEOPLE magazine exclusive pics.

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Apparently, according to reports, after checking in, the next day the bride-to-be, her sisters VenusLyn and Isha, mom Oracene and her pals did some yoga and meditation on the rooftop pool deck, followed by foot massages in an air-conditioned poolside cabana then a romp on a private yacht around the city.

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My sis had her shower three weeks before her nuptials so I’m going to put in my bet at a June surprise wedding before her belly gets too large to fit into the type of dress Serena wants to wear for her nuptials! Let’s see if  we are correct.

Chasing Tiger Woods: Study says spending more on kids’ sports yields less happy kids

Parents striving for their kids to become the next Tiger Woods or Michael Phelps or Venus and Serena Williams and spending beau coup bucks on their kids’ sport activities are actually making their kids hate the sport, new research states.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the researcher who studied parental spending on young athletes expected to find a positive correlation of happier kids to increased spending. Instead sport psychologist Travis Dorsch learned that  parents who spend more on their child’s athletics run the risk of reducing the child’s enjoyment of the sport.

 “When parental sports spending goes up, it increases the likelihood either that the child will feel pressure or that the parent will exert it,”  Dr. Dorsch, a Utah State University professor and former professional football player told the Journal.

The study notes that the increased investments stem from increased expectations that their kids will excel and return their investment, but that is unlikely in many cases where the kids are learning to despise the sport. It recommends that parents temper their financial output.

Read more in today’s Wall Street Journal.

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