‘Moth­er­hood no ob­sta­cle for Ser­ena’s re­turn’

The New Age (Gauteng) - - SPORT 14 -

In 1992, archer Lorig com­peted at the Olympics while four months preg­nant with her son. Jo­hans­son is a Swedish hand­ball player. She com­peted while three-months preg­nant at the 2012 Olympics in London. Af­ter the Games, the Swedish took a year off be­fore re­turn­ing to the sport. Van Grunsven is a Dutch dres­sage com­peti­tor. She was five months preg­nant when she won the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. MOTH­ER­HOOD may do lit­tle to slow Ser­ena Wil­liams’s pur­suit of Grand Slam suc­cess but more hun­gry op­po­nents, if they emerge, could yet deny her the all-time sin­gles record, the woman who holds that dis­tinc­tion has said.

Aus­tralian great Mar­garet Court won 24 Grand Slam sin­gles ti­tles, one ahead of Amer­i­can Wil­liams, who con­firmed she was preg­nant on Wed­nes­day and will sit out the rest of the sea­son.

Court, 74, who strad­dled the sport’s am­a­teur and pro­fes­sional eras, was also the first mother to win a ma­jor as a pro­fes­sional.

She took three of those ti­tles in 1973, the year af­ter giv­ing birth to her first child, Daniel.

But she re­joined the tour at 31 while Wil­liams will be 36 if she comes back as planned in 2018, a dif­fer­ence Court thought might play a role.

“Com­ing back af­ter Daniel I had one of my best years but I was quite a few years younger than Ser­ena,” Court said.

“And I think you’ve got to know phys­i­cally what you can do and how you can do it. You put the baby first and that to me was ev­ery­thing at the time.

“I don’t know (if Ser­ena can win an­other), It will de­pend whether she still feels like do­ing it. It’ll de­pend on her and who’s com­ing through, too.” – Reuters

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