Earlier this month, Serena Williams spent a week visiting her trainer Mackie Shilstone in New Orleans. She went to his home, rode a bicycle around the city and worked in his gym. Never did she reveal she was four months pregnant. Shilstone learned that secret on Wednesday, just like everyone else, when a photo of Williams with a baby bump appeared on Snapchat with the words: “20 weeks.”
Looking back at Williams’s visit, Shilstone now can see the signs. She didn’t talk a lot about upcoming tournaments, or how her January Australian Open win – presumably while pregnant – put her at 23 Grand Slam singles titles, just one from the all-time record. Instead, she headed for a vacation with her fiancée Alexis Ohanian. But even as Shilstone processed the news of her pregnancy, he was thinking about the challenge of meeting her goal of returning to tennis next year.
“Without a doubt I think she will come back and be even stronger – because she will be playing for two,” Shilstone said. “If she sets foot on the court she will come to play. I hate using the word “star” but Serena is a star in the true sense. She is just unique.”
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