*At least one foreign gossip site is claiming that Serena Williams is pregnant…and that her tennis coach could be the father.
The five-time Wimbledon champ and world No. 1 was forced to withdraw from her doubles match with sister Venus this week when she started exhibiting bizarre behavior on the court – particularly a loss of balance and hand-eye coordination.
Her official diagnosis was a “viral illness,” but a German tabloid is claiming that Williams is really pregnant – and her condition was behind the on-court wooziness, reports GossipExtra.com.
According to German gossip rag Bild, the baby daddy is her French coach and rumored boyfriend, Patrick Mouratoglou.
Mouratoglou, meanwhile, told reporters he had not seen Serena – the tournament’s top seed – since she was upset Saturday in the third round of singles by No. 25 Alize Cornet.
So far, Serena has not commented specifically about her condition, other than a statement expressing disappointment in having to drop out.
Also calling BS on the “viral illness” explanation is tennis legend Martina Navratilova. But she’s worried that it could be something more serious. [Scroll down to watch.]
“I find it distressing,” said the nine-time Wimbledon singles champion and Tennis Channel analyst. “I think virus, whatever they’re saying it was, I don’t think that was it. I think it’s clear that’s not the case. I don’t know what it is, but I hope Serena will be OK. And most of all, I don’t know how she ended up walking onto the court.”
The Williams sisters defaulted their match against Kristina Barrois and Stefanie Voegele after four double faults by Serena, who, unsteady on her feet, was unable to bounce, toss or serve the ball. After a few words with the umpire, who came off his chair to talk, she played one more point and then retired. She took her sister’s hand, sat down and was examined by medical personnel.
The start of the match had also been delayed by 14 minutes while a tournament doctor checked on her. Barrois said she was able to tell immediately that something was wrong.
“Barrois said after the first hit in warm-up, [Williams] wasn’t able to hit the ball over the net,” ESPN analyst and former player Pam Shriver said of an interview Wednesday morning. “I asked her what they were being told, and she said they were just told Serena was being evaluated.”
Barrois and Voegele turned down interview requests by American reporters after their third-round loss Wednesday because they did not want to answer questions about Williams.
“It’s the most inexplicable thing of all that she was clearly in no state to play a match and that with all the people around her, that they didn’t stop her from getting on the court,” Navratilova said.
She continued: “I’ve never seen anything like it and hopefully never will again. Everybody was put in such a difficult position, including the WTA. It’s not right. It defies logic on so many fronts. The coach said he hadn’t seen her for two days. He didn’t know anything. How can you be a coach and not know anything? That’s wrong. And Venus was just kind of there. You don’t know what’s going on, but virus was not it, that much is clear.”
On Wednesday, the WTA reported that the medical staff from Wimbledon and the WTA checked on Serena in the morning at the home where she is staying and that “she is resting there and feeling slightly better.”
Serena posted a photo on her Instagram:
Observers, including friends and family, were reported as saying that Williams was distressed after the singles loss. Navratilova, who was No. 1 in the world for a total of 332 weeks in singles and a record 237 weeks in doubles, agreed it was not uncommon for a top player to want to be alone after a big loss.
“[But] why would it take two days?” she said. “Either you go home or default. I would expect a default before you play. But once you step onto the court, you’re a professional tennis player, you’ve got to be ready to play. No matter what is ailing you or no matter if you did anything to get you in that state or you’re sick or whatever, you don’t step on the court. You don’t step on the court no matter what.”