The tennis legend will soon hang up her racket.
Serena Williams, who won 23 Grand Slam singles titles—more than anyone else during the open era, has announced her retirement.
In a Vogue article, Williams said farewell to tennis “on her own terms—and in her own words.”
“I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. I’ve been thinking of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people. Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution. I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me,” Williams said.
She explained that a few years ago, she started a family, which she now wants to grow.
“I’ve been reluctant to admit that I have to move on from playing tennis. It’s like a taboo topic. It comes up, and I start to cry. I think the only person I’ve really gone there with is my therapist,” Williams said.
The 40-year-old also narrated her struggle, which reflects those of countless female athletes. This included being two months pregnant when she won the Australian Open in 2017.
“Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family. I don’t think it’s fair. 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… But I’m turning 41 this month. And something’s got to give,” Williams concluded.
She will officially bid goodbye to tennis after the US Open.
Since turning professional in 1995, Williams has won six career US Open titles, three French Opens, seven Wimbledon championships, and seven Australian Opens. Moreover, she won Olympic gold medals in the singles event and in women’s doubles.
Banner Photo by Serena Williams via Instagram.