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Tennis ace Serena Williams serves up ace with news of first baby

Serena Williams has announced the impending arrival of her first baby

TENNIS ace Serena Williams has announced she is pregnant with her first child.

The sporting star's spokeswoman Kelly Bush Novak said: "I'm happy to confirm Serena is expecting a baby this fall."

On Wednesday, Williams, (35), posted a photo of herself on social media site Snapchat with the caption "20 weeks".

She won her 23rd Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open in January – a little less than 12 weeks ago – and has not competed since, citing a knee injury when withdrawing from tournaments at Indian Wells, California, and Key Biscayne, Florida.

She announced in late December that she was engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Williams would appear to be out for the rest of this tennis season, a blow to a sport in which she is an unqualified star – and, of course, something that makes major titles easier to come by for other competitors.

The next major tournament is the French Open, which starts on May 28. Wimbledon begins in early July, and the US Open in late August.

There is recent precedent for tennis players to return to action after becoming a mother.

Kim Clijsters retired briefly to start a family, then came back to action and won Grand Slam titles.

Another former number one and major champion, Victoria Azarenka, has announced she will be getting back on tour soon after having a baby.

Williams' 23 Grand Slam singles titles are a record for the Open era, which began in 1968 – she broke a tie with Steffi Graf in Australia.

Only one woman has won more – Australia's Margaret Smith Court - who claimed part of her 24 during the amateur era.

The father of Serena Williams' first child made his name as one of the tech industry's most prominent entrepreneurs and activists.

Mr Ohanian is best known for co-founding Reddit, the social news site and forum, which is now one of the biggest websites in the world, in 2005 after completing a degree in commerce and history at the University of Virginia.

The 33-year-old created the site with his college room-mate Steve Huffman, founding the "front page of the internet" as a news aggregation and discussion site for internet users.

It quickly grew in popularity and in 2006 it was acquired by publishing giant Conde Nast, with Mr Ohanian now sitting on the board of directors.

The site now receives more than 540 million monthly visitors and is ranked as the fourth most visited website in the US and 14th in the world.

As well as news and discussion, the site has become famous for its AMAs (Ask Me Anything) question and answer forums, which have featured former US president Barack Obama, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and astronaut Buzz Aldrin in the past.

However, Mr Ohanian and the site were at the centre of controversy in 2015 following the dismissal of communications director Victoria Taylor, which led to many of Reddit's volunteer moderators blocking access to forums in protest at the company's treatments of her.

Mr Ohanian, along with interim chief executive Ellen Pao were both heavily criticised over the incident and separate petitions appeared on Change.org asking both to step down from the company.

Ms Pao did eventually resign in the wake of extended criticism over a number of different issues related to the site.

Away from Reddit, Mr Ohanian is also a prominent activist and has spoken publicly in favour of an open internet, being dubbed the "mayor of the internet" by Forbes in 2012 after helping to lead campaigns against US lawmakers and overturn two bills relating to online piracy and copyright breaches.

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