Sporting great Serena Williams announces emotional retirement from tennis

Aug 9, 2022 3:34 p.m

Serena Williams has said she will be

Serena Williams has said in a new interview that she will “evolve away from tennis”.

Image: Alamy

23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams has announced her impending retirement from tennis, telling fans she is “ready for what’s next”.

Serena won her first singles match in more than a year at the National Bank Open in Toronto on Monday night but has revealed in an ego post to Vogue that she has decided to retire.

“I’m here to tell you I’m evolving away from tennis and towards other things that are important to me,” she wrote.

Serena revealed that her motivation behind quitting is the desire to have a second child.

She explained that she spent a year trying to have another baby during her absence from tennis, until Wimbledon this summer when she was defeated by France’s Harmony Tan in the first round.

She returned to the sport in early 2018 after giving birth to her daughter Olympia the previous year after being pregnant when she won her last Slam title at the Australian Open.

“Unfortunately this year I wasn’t ready to win Wimbledon,” she wrote.

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Serena Williams at the National Bank Open in Toronto, Ontario.

Serena Williams at the National Bank Open in Toronto, Ontario.

Image: Getty

“And I don’t know if I’ll be ready to win New York. But I will try it. And the preparation tournaments will be fun.

“I know there’s a fan fantasy that I would have tied Margaret (Court on 24 Slam Singles Titles) that day in London, then maybe broke her record in New York and then said at the trophy ceremony, ‘See you !’

“I get that. It’s a good fantasy. But I’m not looking for a ceremonial, final moment on the pitch. I’m terrible at goodbyes, the worst in the world.”

Serena has signed on to play the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati next week, as well as the US Open later this month, and it appears this will be her last tournament.

She admitted the decision to retire at the age of 41 was “painful” but said “there has to be something”.

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“It’s the hardest thing I can ever imagine. I hate it. I hate that I have to stand at this crossroads. I keep telling myself, ‘I wish it was easy for me’, but it’s not.

“I am torn. I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next.

“I don’t know how I’m going to be looking at this magazine when it comes out knowing it’s the end of a story that began in Compton, California with a little black girl who just wanted to play tennis.”

Serena had a glittering career and was one of the most influential athletes in the world.

She has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles – the most in the Open era for a man or woman.

She also has four Olympic gold medals under her belt, seven Australian Open and Wimbledon titles, six US Open titles and three French Open titles.

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