Serena Williams reveals her daughter's name is nod to Australia

Photo: @serenawilliams via Instagram
Photo: @serenawilliams via Instagram

After welcoming her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Junior last month, tennis champion Serena Williams has now shared that her newborn's moniker is more significant than many previously realised.

Apart from the obvious connection to her fiance, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, the 36-year-old revealed on her Twitter that the first-born's initials are a strategic reference to Williams' Australian Open win earlier this year.

"Fun fact my daughters initials are AO," the 36-year-old tennis superstar said on Twitter, adding, "as in the Aussie open she won with me @AustralianOpen."

After Williams announced she was 20 weeks pregnant via Snapchat, some discerning fans were quick to calculate the tennis-champion was pregnant during grand slam win number 23 at the Australian Open in January. So it's fitting that her first-born's name commemorates the feat.

Releasing a video compilation of Williams' pregnancy, the last slide with Alexia Olympia's name, birthday and weight also cites her as helping Williams win the Open. "Grand Slam titles: 1," the image stated.

One follower also pointed out that in addition to helping her mum win the milestone title, Alexis Olympia was fortuitously born on September 1, during the US Open, with some speculating the newborn has a future on the tennis court.

Williams said during a TED Talk interview in April that she learned about the pregnancy just two days before the tournament began.

"I was nervous," Williams said during the talk. "I wasn't quite sure what to think, but I knew that at that moment, it was really important for me to just focus.

"It wasn't very easy. You hear all these stories about people when they're pregnant ??? they get sick, they get really tired, really stressed out ??? I had to really take all that energy and put it in a paper bag, so to say, and throw it away."

Williams has made it clear that she plans to defend her title at next year's Australian Open, which will be less than five months after the birth.

In an interview with US Vogue, Williams acknowledged her plan is an ambitious one, and that she is setting the bar high.

"It's the most outrageous plan," she said. "I just want to put that out there. That's, like, three months after I give birth. I'm not walking anything back, but I'm just saying it's pretty intense.

"I used to think I'd want to retire when I have kids, but no. I'm definitely coming back ... If anything, this pregnancy has given me a new power."

She also penned an emotional letter to her mother after the birth, comparing the physical likeness she shares with her newborn, and thanking her for being a "strong role model" and shutting down body shaming criticism by teaching her "the power of a black woman."

"She has my arms and legs! My exact same strong, muscular, powerful, sensational arms and body," Williams wrote, still marvelling that she also now has a daughter.

This story Serena Williams reveals her daughter's name is nod to Australia first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.