Serena Williams has announced her impending retirement from tennis, saying the “countdown has begun” to her illustrious career in the sport, with the US Open later this month set to be her final tournament.
In conversation with Fashion, the 23-time Grand Slam champion and one of the greatest players in tennis history, said: “I’ve never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. Perhaps the best word to describe what I intend to do is evolution. I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis and towards other things that are important to me.”
Williams, who turns 41 in September, added on Instagram. “There comes a time in life when we must choose to go in a different direction. This time is always tough when you love something so much. Gosh, do I enjoy tennis. But now the countdown has started. I need to focus on being a mom, my spiritual goals and finally discovering a different but just plain exciting Serena. I will enjoy these next few weeks.”
The US Open, the last Grand Slam tournament of the year, begins on August 29th. “I’m not looking for a ceremonial, last moment on the pitch. I’m terrible at goodbyes, the worst in the world,” she said. Williams also said the decision was made reluctantly, adding, “It’s the hardest thing I can ever imagine. I hate it. I hate being at this crossroads.”
In the I essay on Fashion, Williams said that the desire to expand her family and have a second child was one of the motivating factors behind her decision. The American gave birth to daughter Olympia in 2017 and revealed that her child has a desire to have a sister. “This has felt like a moment that I need to listen to very carefully,” Williams said. “Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family … But I’m turning 41 this month, and I have to do something.”
Williams will leave behind one of the greatest careers in all of the sport. The Williams sisters grew up in Compton, California with their older sister, Venus, and learned to play from their father, Richard. The Williams sisters broke racial barriers and blazed a path that has seen them both dominate tennis for most of the past 25 years.
Williams has won seven Wimbledon titles, seven Australian Opens, six US Opens and three French Opens, as well as four Olympic gold medals. She held the No. 1 ranking for a total of 319 weeks and became the world’s oldest No. 1 in 2017 at the age of 35, just after her last Grand Slam title at the Australian Open – a tournament she was in her second month pregnant won.
After giving birth, Williams reached four more Grand Slam finals, including two at Wimbledon in 2017 and 2018. She retired from the sport for almost a year after tearing her hamstring in the first round of Wimbledon in 2021 , but returned to the All England Club before that summer in a first-round loss to Harmony Tan on Center Court.
While Williams hasn’t specifically stated that the US Open will be her final tournament, she did compete in a series of warm-up tournaments ahead of the Grand Slam in New York in preparation for attending Flushing Meadows. Williams won her first singles match in over a year in the opening round of the Canadian Open last night but dropped a hint that her retirement was imminent.
Williams has a significant stake in her venture capital firm, Serena Ventures. At Wimbledon, Williams said Serena Ventures “felt more of my life” than tennis, adding: “When you have a venture firm you have to give it your all. It’s definitely taking up literally all of my extra time. And it is fun.”
Williams is just one short of the all-time Grand Slam record held by Margaret Court and her 24 titles. “Unfortunately this year I wasn’t ready to win Wimbledon. And I don’t know if I’ll be ready to win New York,” she said Fashion. “But I will try it.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/serena-williams-retirement-us-open-b2141483.html Serena Williams is ‘moving away from tennis’ and retiring after US Open