Former World No 12 Yanina Wickmayer took to social media this week to announce that she and her husband, Jérôme Vanderzijl, are expecting their first child, soon to be joining the growing group of mothers on tour.
Losing my mom when I was 9 is still the biggest challenge I had to face in life but also made me dream about being a mother to my own kids one day. Yanina Wickmayer
“Jérôme and I are super excited to tell you that we’re expecting our firstborn!” Wickmayer told fans on Instagram.
The 31-year-old Belgian added: “Losing my mom when I was 9 is still the biggest challenge I had to face in life but also made me dream about being a mother to my own kids one day.
“My career has always been my first priority but it became harder and harder to put this dream aside and hold back on starting my own little family… My husband and I are beyond happy to welcome this baby of love into our family in April.”
Wickmayer has been a fixture on the WTA Tour since turning pro in 2004, and has racked up 5 singles and 2 doubles titles, including her most recent at the 2016 Citi Open in Washington DC.
The 2009 US Open semi-finalist has featured in 6 additional singles finals throughout her career, and rose to her career-high ranking of World No 12 in 2010.
Currently ranked No 163, Wickmayer was also quick to reassure fans that she doesn’t intend to stay away from the tennis courts for too long, and has plans to return to WTA action in the future.
“Don’t worry! I still LOVE to play tennis, so this is not a final goodbye. It’s a see you soon!” she said.