She’s been hailed as the greatest female athlete of our time for years. She continued to dominate the tennis world through pregnancy and new motherhood. She’s consistently inspirational. But Serena Williams just accomplished something new: She just won her first title since welcoming her daughter, Olympia.
Serena competed during the ASB Classic Women’s Singles Final on January 12—and she triumphed. Serena has not won a title in three years, but what likely means more to the athlete isn’t that timeframe: It’s the fact that this is the first athletic title she’s received since she was given the title of mother.
“It feels good. It’s been a long time. I think you can see the relief on my face,” Serena said after her win. “I feel so fortunate and blessed to be able to just be out here and be healthy and to play. I’ve been out here for so long, and I’ve been through so much, so it’s good to be able to come and do what I do, and I just feel so happy to do something that I absolutely love.” She topped that off with a celebratory cartwheel.
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Of course, this is far from Serena’s first personal win: The tennis star has 73 career singles under her belt. Additionally, this major win comes on the heels of a huge honor she recently took home: Serena was named Female Athlete of the Decade by the Associated Press.
Serena’s husband, Alexis Ohanian, posted a sweet message in support of his wife after her most recent win…and he revealed something incredible about what the athlete did after her big victory.
“What a start to the decade, @serenawilliams we’re all so proud of you,” he writes. “And just when I think I can’t possibly be more proud, you donate all your prize money to fight the #australianbushfires.”
And the accompanying photo? It features Serena holding her beautiful daughter—the little girl she has dubbed her greatest accomplishment. It’s an incredible picture of a mother who dreams big, achieves her goals, shatters records and does incredible things…and celebrates both wins and losses with her baby on her hip. And you know what? It’s inspirational.