Serena Williams: News of pregnancy became public because she hit the wrong button on Snapchat

Serena Williams seems pretty savvy with social media, but she revealed a pretty big secret last week by pressing the wrong button on Snapchat.

That secret, of course, is that the tennis superstar is pregnant with her first child. And it was revealed when she accidentally made public a bikini shot of herself with a slight baby bump, featuring the caption, “20 weeks.”

“I was on vacation, taking time for myself, and I have this thing where I’ve been checking my status and taking a picture every week,” Williams said during an onstage interview Tuesday night with journalist Gayle King at the TED2017 Conference in Vancouver, Canada. “I’ve been just saving it, but you know how social media is — you press the wrong button and …”

Williams then shrugged and said: “My phone doesn’t ring that much, and 30 minutes later, I’d missed four calls. So I picked it up and realized, ‘Oh no.'”

That was April 19. Later that day, Williams’ publicist confirmed that the 23-time Grand Slam winner is indeed pregnant.

Williams, who became engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in December, told King she found out the news two weeks before competing in — and winning — the Australian Open.

“I was nervous,” Williams said. “I wasn’t sure what to do. Can I play? I know it’s very dangerous in the first 12 weeks or so, so I had a lot of questions.”

But, she said, “I knew that at that moment, it was important for me to just focus. I had to take all that energy and put it in a paper bag and throw it away. I really felt like I didn’t have time to deal with any extra emotions — any extra anything.”

In an Instagram post on Monday, Williams stated to her unborn child, “ I can't wait for you to join the players box next year.”

Williams, 35, confirmed to King that she does plan to continue competing after becoming a mom.

“This is just a new part of my life,” she said. “My baby is going to be in the stands, hopefully cheering for me and not crying too much.”

charles.schilken@latimes.com

Twitter: @chewkiii

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