Tennis great Serena Williams has confirmed she's expecting her first child, revealing she was pregnant when she won the Australian Open.

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Serena Williams reveals she's pregnant

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VIDEO Serena Williams reveals she's pregnant. Source: 7News Serena Williams reveals she's pregnant

Williams posted a photo of herself in a yellow swimsuit with a baby bump on Snapchat on Thursday, captioned "20 weeks".

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The timing means that the 35-year-old American would have been pregnant when she won her record-setting 23rd Grand Slam title in January, where she beat her sister Venus in the final.

Serena with her Aus Open crown, and the photo that's sent social media into meltdown. Source: Getty/Snapchat

A representative confirmed the news in a short statement: "I'm happy to confirm Serena is expecting a baby this Fall."

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Serena's publicist Kelly Bush Novak told Reuters that Williams "definitely" would not be able to play again this year but "looks forward to returning in 2018."

In December, Williams announced her engagement to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, first sharing the news on the Reddit social media site.

Ohanian and Williams. Image: Instagram

She cited a knee injury in pulling out of tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami in March.

Her inactivity saw her drop to second in the world rankings, but she is poised to return to regain the top spot from Germany's Angelique Kerber on Monday.

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While pregnancy may spell the end of Williams's season, it doesn't mean she won't be back on court.

Belgium's Kim Clijsters came out of retirement at the age of 26 after having a child and won three Grand Slam titles.

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Australians Evonne Goolagong and Margaret Court also won Grand Slam titles after having children.

Former world number one Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, 27, won the Indian Wells and Miami titles in March of last year before missing the rest of the season after announcing she was expecting a baby in December.

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Since the birth of son Leo, Azarenka has returned to training and plans to return to competition at the WTA tournament in Stanford, California, in July.

Fans reacted to Serena's news with astonishment on social media.

with AAP, AFP

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