There comes a time in every athlete’s life when the wear and tear of playing in the top level catches up with them and Serena Williams is no different.
In a Vogue magazine article, Williams all but announced that she will be retiring very soon but did not provide a specific date. It was corroborated on her Instagram, where she said she will “relish these next few weeks” before officially calling it a career in professional tennis.
In Vogue’s September issue cover, the 23-time Grand Slam champion appears next to a “Serena’s Farewell” headline. In the article, she said, “Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family. I don’t think it’s fair. But I’m turning 41 this month, and something’s got to give.”
“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,” she added further in the Vogue article.
“I’m not looking for some ceremonial, final on-court moment,” Williams also said. “I’m terrible at goodbyes, the world’s worst.”
Sharing the cover on Instagram, she captioned the post, “There comes a time in life when we have to decide to move in a different direction. That time is always hard when you love something so much. My goodness do I enjoy tennis. But now, the countdown has begun. I have to focus on being a mom, my spiritual goals and finally discovering a different, but just exciting Serena. I’m gonna relish these next few weeks.”
In a storied career during which she dominated rivals like no other athlete, she also claimed seven Australian Open titles, three French Open titles and seven Wimbledon crowns.
Williams also owns 14 women’s Grand Slam doubles titles with older sister Venus and has won four Olympic gold medals: singles (2012), doubles (2000, 2008, 2012).