This is What’s Trending Today.
Everyone is talking about tennis star Serena Williams, although she has not played a match for months.
Williams last played in January. She won the Australian Open against her sister, Venus.
A short time later, she told the world she was pregnant.
Even people who do not follow sports were impressed Williams could win a major tennis tournament while pregnant.
Now, Williams is in the news for a different reason. Her picture is on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. And she is not wearing clothes.
Many people remember a similar Vanity Fair cover in 1991 that showed a pregnant, unclothed Demi Moore.
Williams spoke to Vanity Fair about her relationship with businessman Alexis Ohanian. She described how the pair met in Italy.
Williams also said she could not believe she was pregnant until she took six pregnancy tests and they all came up positive.
Vanity Fair published the article on Tuesday. People are reacting to the photo.
Serena even tweeted to her fans, posting a photo of the cover and asking them to guess if the baby will be a boy or a girl.
Many people agreed with one fan, who wrote: “The shape of the belly makes me think it’s a boy, but I hope it’s a girl.”
But the magazine cover is not the only reason Williams is in the news this week.
Tennis great John McEnroe spoke of Williams over the weekend. McEnroe was a star in the 1970s and 1980s. He is also known for speaking his mind.
McEnroe is on TV and radio talking about his new book, “But Seriously.”
McEnroe was speaking with Lulu Garcia-Navarro of National Public Radio on Sunday morning.
Garcia-Navarro noted that in his book, McEnroe wrote that Williams was the best female player in the world. But she asked why would he not consider her the best player – male or female – in the world?
McEnroe said “Well, because if she was in, if she played the men’s circuit, she’d be like 700 in the world.”
McEnroe went on to say that he thought Williams was great, and she could do well on some days, but if she played a full schedule against men, it “would be an entirely different story.”
Later in the conversation, McEnroe said “maybe at some point a women’s tennis player can be better than anybody … I suppose anything’s possible at some stage.”
On Monday, Williams answered McEnroe on Twitter. She wrote: “please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based.” She noted her pregnancy and asked him to respect her privacy.
Some people agreed with McEnroe’s comments, saying they do not think Williams could beat men often. Others thought Williams should be considered the best tennis player in the world right now.
But one sports commentator seems to have the controversy figured out.
Dave Zirin wrote that Williams “is perhaps the most dominant player to ever pick up a racket,” and “it’s being talked about because this is the dead season for sports commentary.”
And that’s What’s Trending Today.
I’m Dan Friedell.
Dan Friedell wrote this story for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.
Do you think Serena Williams is the best tennis player in the world? We want to know. Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.
Words in This Story
tournament – n. a sports competition or series of contests that involves many players or teams and that usually continues for at least several days
match – n. a contest between two or more players or teams
impress – v. to cause (someone) to feel admiration or interest
pose – n. to stand, sit, or lie down in a particular position as a model for a photograph, painting, etc.
positive – n. completely certain or sure that something is correct or true
belly – n. a person's stomach or the part of the body that contains the stomach
circuit – n. a series of performances, sports events, lectures, etc., that are held or done at many different places — usually singular
controversy – n. argument that involves many people who strongly disagree about something
dominant – adj. more important, powerful, or successful than most or all others