One word — “she” — is all it took for Venus Williams to convince the world that her little sister, Serena, will give birth to a girl in September.
After her second-round French Open victory on Wednesday, Venus joked about impending aunthood in a Eurosport interview with Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena’s coach. He had inquired what the baby would call her and she replied: “She’s going to call me ‘favorite aunt’ … Every day we’re like, Baby Vee, Baby Isher, Baby Lyn, so we all want the baby to be named after us.”
But Serena is having none of that. She tweeted a clarification that seems to indicate that she and fiancee Alexis Ohanian prefer to be surprised by the baby’s gender, something that — let’s face it — really is her business.
“I think the surprise of knowing what you are going to have on that very special day you give birth is prob the best surprise you can ever have! So 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. 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.’ Unless I’m joking with my Dad or Alexis and I’m trying to con something out of them too. Hey I’m the youngest [of] 5 I’ve always tricked all of them what can I say!”
There is family precedent for letting news about the baby slip out. Serena herself announced her pregnancy by accident when she publicly shared a post of her pregnancy at 20 weeks on Snapchat. So it probably shouldn’t have come as a surprise that Venus made the “she” comment.
The baby-to-be has been the subject of speculation everywhere and not all of it has been as sweet and innocuous as Venus’s comment. Ilie Nastase, the former tennis player, drew fire when he said in April, “Let’s see what color it has. Chocolate with milk?”
Serena did not let that comment pass, saying, “It disappoints me to know we live in a society where people like Ilie Nastase can make such racist comments towards myself and unborn child.”