Pregnant Serena Williams Poses Nude for Vanity Fair Cover

Tennis champion models for magazine with her best accessory yet

By Samantha Schnurr Jun 27, 2017 1:03 PMTags

Serena Williams is posing with her best accessory yet. 

The tennis champion documented her first baby bump the best way a celebrity can—a Vanity Fair magazine cover shot by Annie Leibovitz (yes, the Leibovitz who famously shot Demi Moore similarly for the August 1991 cover).

The first-time expectant mom graces the front of this year's August issue in nude underwear, a body chain and little else as the silhouette of her growing belly takes center stage. 

Roughly seven months into her pregnancy, the 35-year-old has two personal milestones in store—becoming a mother for the first time and becoming a wife for the first time. She and fiancé Alexis Ohanian became engaged in December 2016 in Rome at a table where the two first met. However, unlike her surprise pregnancy, Williams suspected her beau was about to ask her a very important question when he insisted she get on a plane to Italy despite her work obligations creeping up around her. 

Serena Williams' Pregnancy Style
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

"I knew it was coming. I was like, ‘Serena, you're 35, you're ready. This is what you want,'" she recalled during her interview with Vanity Fair. She was less inclined, however, to take a pregnancy test a month later when she wasn't quite feeling like herself. As she told the story to the magazine, friend Jessica Steindorff had an inkling and urged her to take a pregnancy test. 

After a few days, the athlete gave in. "I'll take it just because (a) to prove you wrong and (b) because it's fun, whatever," she said. "It's like a joke. Why not?" The cover girl was so unconvinced she was expecting that she forgot to check her pregnancy test after she took one while getting ready for an event. 

Pregnant Serena Williams Reveals the Greatest Advice Her Mom Shared About Being a Parent
Snapchat / Serena Williams

"An hour and a half later, I went back to the bathroom and I totally forgot about it because it was impossible for me....So I went back to get dressed and I went back in the bathroom and I was like, 'Oh yeah, that test,'" she recalled. Once she saw the result, Serena "did a double take and my heart dropped. Like literally it dropped."

Five months later, Williams still sounds a touch caught off-guard. "I don't know what to do with a baby. I have nothing....I've done absolutely nothing for the baby room," she told the magazine. 

"If you would have told me last year in October or November that I would have a baby, not be pregnant but have a baby, I would have thought you were the biggest liar in the world. This is kind of how I am right now. This is happening sooner than later, and it's going by so fast," she continued. 

However, don't worry about this champion. As the feature's author, Buzz Bissinger noted on Today, "She is the most comfortably pregnant person I've ever seen...I think she's ready for another phase of her life."