Serena Williams Announces Plans To Retire From Tennis
Photo by Mark Sandten/Bongarts/Getty Images
— 10 August 2022

Serena Williams Announces Plans To Retire From Tennis

— 10 August 2022

Granted, it isn’t surprising to hear about the retirement of a 40-year-old athlete who has a) virtually every accolade in her sport, b) a young family to spend time with, c) and an entire laundry list of business ventures which demands her attention. But it’s still a pretty big deal when it happens. Especially for someone as iconic as Serena Williams, who recently penned an article in Vogue discussing her own feelings towards retirement.

“I have never liked the word retirement,” wrote Serena Williams.

“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.”

RELATED: Six Years Ago, You Could Book Tennis Lessons From Ash Barty For $16.50

Having turned professional aged 14 back in 1995, Serena Williams has enjoyed one of the longest careers among the top; bouncing back from injured Achilles, torn hamstrings, life-threatening pulmonary embolisms (twice), as well as the birth of her first child Alexis Olympia in 2017. The latter of which she’s cited as the most important consideration in regards to her retirement.

Williams took a year away from the sport after suffering a damaged hamstring during the 2021 Wimbledon, admitting that a conversation with legendary golfer Tiger Woods actually provided the motivation behind her eventual return. The once-in-a-generation talent would then make her singles return at this year’s Wimbledon, facing a first-round loss to Harmony Tan.

Despite this, saying goodbye to tennis seemed like an uncomfortable reality for Serena Williams, who compared her situation to the more positive retirements of Ash Barty in March and her friend Caroline Wozniacki in 2020.

“There is no happiness in this topic for me,” wrote Serena Williams.

“I know it’s not the usual thing to say, but I feel a great deal of pain. It’s the hardest thing that I could ever imagine. I hate it. I hate that I have to be at this crossroads. I keep saying to myself, I wish it could be easy for me, but it’s not. I’m torn: I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next.”

RELATED: Sebastian Vettel Is Retiring At The End Of 2022

After 23 grand slam singles titles, 4 Olympic gold medals, and 319 weeks ranked at world #1 (186 consecutively), Serena Williams has nothing else left to prove. She’s earned nearly US$95 million (AU$137 million) in prize money alone, making her the highest-paid female athlete ever and the fourth highest-paid tennis player ever. Her impact on women’s sports will be talked about for years to come.

While not directly stated, it has been heavily suggested that Serena Williams will retire at the US Open in August, where she won her first Grand Slam at 17 years old. Williams currently holds the Open era record of 23 grand slam singles titles, behind only Margaret Court’s 24. It’s unlikely, but what an incredible finale that would be if she could somehow win it all one last time.   

“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.”

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