Photo by: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Serena Williams, arguably the greatest athlete of all time, announced Tuesday that she will retire from tennis later this month. She will stop competing after the 2022 US Open at the end of August.
In her “final farewell to tennis,” the 23-time Grand Slam champion chatted with Vogue as she graced the cover, and expressed her eagerness to move on to new endeavors.
She also shared a post on Instagram, saying she is “gonna relish these next few weeks.”
“I’ve been reluctant to admit to myself or anyone else that I have to move on from playing tennis,” Williams expressed. “Alexis, my husband, and I have hardly talked about it; it’s like a taboo topic. I can’t even have this conversation with my mom and dad. It’s like it’s not real until you say it out loud.”
The 40-year-first old’s recent victory after a total of 430 days was celebrated the day before the news of her upcoming retirement.
In June, she competed in her first singles match in more than a year, losing to France’s Harmony Tan. She then suggested she would compete at the US Open, which starts on August 29, on home soil.
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready to win Wimbledon this year,” Williams expressed. “And I don’t know if I will be ready to win New York. But I’m going to try.
The legendary tennis icon acknowledged having conflicting emotions about her upcoming chapter and preferred the word “evolution” than “retirement.”
“It comes up, I get an uncomfortable lump in my throat, and I start to cry,” she stated. “The only person I’ve really gone there with is my therapist! One thing I’m not going to do is sugarcoat this. I know that a lot of people are excited about and look forward to retiring, and I really wish I felt that way.”
At the Australian Open in 2017, Williams, who had just won her last Grand Slam tournament while expecting, claimed that her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., who will turn 5 the following month, has been requesting a younger sibling for some time.
In the Vogue article, Williams expressed her feeling that it was unfair to have to decide between having a family and a job.
“If I were a guy, I wouldn’t be writing this because I’d be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labor of expanding our family,” she said. “Maybe I’d be more of a Tom Brady if I had that opportunity. Don’t get me wrong: I love being a woman, and I loved every second of being pregnant with Olympia. … But I’m turning 41 this month, and something’s got to give.”
With 73 career singles titles, four Olympic gold medals, and 319 weeks at No. 1 in the sport, Williams, who started her professional career in 1995 at the age of 14, has subsequently established herself as one of the best athletes to have ever played the game.
She has won 14 major doubles titles, including one with her older sister Venus Williams. Venus has not commented on her future.
Serena, who has a limited schedule on tour but remains the second-highest paid female athlete in the world, is involved in several lucrative collaborations and endorsements in addition to owning multiple businesses.
After tennis, she stated she was looking forward to focusing more on her venture capital firm.
Although she has made the decision to go on, she is a legend who elevated the sport. Even though she is no longer competing, she has left her stamp on every tennis court in the world.
Serena Williams dominated women’s tennis for 20 years, and her legacy will live on forever.