Serena Williams had her first major victory since returning to tennis after a year-long hiatus, but it came with some disappointment. Serena Williams missed her baby's first steps while training for Wimbledon, which she shared in a Tweet on Saturday. The tennis star's daughter, Alexis Olympia, is 10-months old, and unfortunately had this milestone while her mother was preparing to take on the biggest event in the sport of tennis. On Twitter, Williams wrote: "She took her first steps... I was training and missed it. I cried." Fans were quick to offer their support, and had plenty of encouraging messages for the star athlete.
After Williams tweeted about her disappointment, many other users rushed to reply with encouraging words. Several people pointed out that there would be plenty of wonderful moments ahead. Twitter user @RyanTahmassebi wrote: "She missed you winning 23 grand slam titles but will still know you're the best tennis player of all time. You'll have thousands of magic moments with her don't worry!" Several other fans chimed in to argue that it's only a first-time if the mother is there. Twitter user @miller_jcm chimed in, "My motherhood rule: the first you see is the first time it happened FULL STOP!"
The support from fans comes amidst the tennis star's comeback moment. Williams returned to competition at the Fed Cup in March, after over a year away from the sport. During this time she gave birth to her daughter, but shut down rumors about her retirement. There have been several hiccups while getting back into the game. According to People, she withdrew from the Australian Open ten days before the event. “After performing in my first match after giving birth I realized that although I am super close I'm not where I personally want to be," she said in an official statement. "My coach and team always said 'Only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way.' With that being said I am disappointed to say I've decided not to compete in The Australian Open this year."
In June, Williams was also forced to pull out of the fourth match at the French Open with a chest muscle injury, according to ESPN. Even with these setbacks, she's already won three sets at Wimbledon and is in a good position to win the event. On Friday, she beat Kristina Mladenovic of France in the most difficult set of the games so far. It's been nothing short of a major comeback, and while Williams might have missed some family moments during training, her daughter and husband, Alexis Ohanian, have been watching from the sidelines at the event in London.
Ohanian and Williams have shared several sweet photos of the baby from Wimbledon. The couple has a joint account on Instagram dedicated to baby pics and updates, and shared an adorable photo of Alexis Olympia sitting on the tennis court. It was captioned: "Hummm that looks yummy #wimbledon go Mommy". In another pic, Alexis is seen holding a baby-sized tennis racket with the caption: "#Wimbledon ready."
The 23-time World Cup winner is determined to be the best in both motherhood and tennis. In May, Williams gave an interview with E! News where she discussed balancing the two roles. "As a tennis player and as the best in the world you have to have that discipline. You have to bring that. But then when I became a mom, it was like, ‘Now I understand what everyone's talking about,'" she told the publication. "In some weird way I still want to be the best in what I do, whether it's fashion or tennis. I just want to be the best and I want to work the hardest. I also want to be the best mom. Why limit myself?"
In the next week Williams could take home her 24th champion title, further securing her place as one of the best athletes in the world. Her training has clearly paid off, though it's totally understandable why she's sad to have missed her daughter's early steps. There will be plenty of special moments to come though, and with her mother as an inspiration, it's possible Williams could one day watch her daughter take her first steps on to a tennis court.