Just five months after giving birth, the tennis star wowed the crowd at the Fed Cup in Asheville, NC, including her adorable baby girl, Alexis Olympia

By Marisa Cohen
Updated February 13, 2018
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Serena Williams Baby at Fed Cup
Credit: Richard Shiro/Getty Images

Every mom who’s ever tried to ease back into exercise a few months after giving birth—especially after a difficult C-section—knows how much of a challenge it can be to just pull on a pair of shorts, throw your hair in a messy bun, and take those first few tentative steps. You’re exhausted, your center of gravity has completely changed, and your belly is still recovering from surgery. Each tiny step on the treadmill can feel like you’re attempting to climb Mount Everest.

But Serena Williams is not just any mom. Heck, she’s not just any human. Proving once again that she is one of the greatest athletes in history, the 23-time Grand Slam winner made her post-baby competitive comeback Sunday at the Fed Cup in Asheville, NC, playing a doubles match with her superstar sister, Venus, just five months after giving birth.

Her secret weapon: the world’s cutest cheerleader, her baby Alexis Olympia.

Williams’s husband Alexis Ohanian, sat in the front row, holding up their impossibly cute daughter, who was wearing a red-and-white striped headband/bow combo that stylish infants are no doubt scrambling to copy. (Just in case you need one now, here’s a similar style.)

When you consider what Williams went through just last summer, it’s a miracle she was able to compete at all. After delivering Alexis Olympia via C-section, Williams suffered from life-threatening complications when blood clots formed in her lungs and severe coughing reopened her C-section wound. So even though she and Venus lost the match 6-2, 6-3 against two players from the Netherlands, she earns major props for getting herself back in shape and getting back out on the court.

Ever the perfectionist, Williams admitted balancing work and new motherhood is a challenge: "I didn’t manage my time well, but I was thinking about it in the future how to manage it better," she said after the match. "This is literally my first time traveling with the baby and everything. I’m going to try to do better. It was hard. It was the first time for me."

But no matter what happens next—whether she decides to retire and spend more time with her family, or she roars back to win another dozen or so titles—Williams has the satisfaction that she got to play in front of her most important fan.