Three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber withdrew from the U.S. Open on Wednesday because she is pregnant, announcing the news via social media by joking that “two against one just isn’t a fair competition” and posting a string of emojis that included a baby bottle.
The 34-year-old German won the title at Flushing Meadows in 2016 to rise to No. 1 in the WTA rankings. She also won the Australian Open that year and added a Wimbledon championship in 2018.
She hasn’t competed on tour since a third-round loss at Wimbledon on July 1. She is currently ranked 52nd.
“For the next months, I will take a break from travelling the globe as a tennis player but then again, I believe it’s for the best possible reason,” Kerber wrote Wednesday. “I will miss all of you.”
She also said: “Being a professional athlete means everything to me but I’m grateful for the new path I’m heading to. To be honest, I’m nervous and excited at the same time.”
Play in the main draw of the U.S. Open begins Monday.