After more than two decades as one of tennis’ top stars, Serena Williams has announced her intention to end her unprecedented sports career. In an essay for Vogue, Williams talks about balancing her home life with her work, her complicated feelings around the idea of ”retirement” and her goals moving forward.
“I never liked the word retirement. To me, it doesn’t sound like a modern word,” Williams wrote. “Perhaps the best word to describe what I am doing is evolution. I’m here to tell you that I’m growing away from tennis, towards other things that are important to me. “
Although she did not reveal an official date for the end, she hinted that it could be after this year’s US Open. In this installment, Williams, who is about to turn 41, opens up about her young daughter’s desire to have siblings, and how women in sports have to choose between having a family and continuing to compete. . “If I were a guy, I wouldn’t be writing this because I would be out there playing and winning while my wife is doing manual labor to expand the family,” she wrote. In 2017, Williams completed a dominant streak to the Australian Open, in which she had never lost a set, while pregnant. Williams said she and her husband, Alexis Ohanian, wanted another child, but she was not interested in having another on tour. “I need to play tennis with two feet or two feet,” she admits.
When Williams retires, she will be celebrated not only as one of tennis’ all-time greats, but also as the one with one of the most dominant runs in professional sports history. Williams has won 23 Grand Slams – the most of any player in the Open Era – and she also dominated the doubles round, with multiple wins at the US Open, Wimbledon, French Open and Australian Open. wide. (In the essay, Williams admits that she hasn’t beaten Margaret Court’s pre-Open Era record, but notes that “there should have been more than 30 slams,” which is not the time she should have. retired due to pregnancy and a horrifying experience with a blood clot in 2010.)
She also mentioned recently retired star players like Ashleigh Barty and Caroline Wozniacki, who she believes feel more emotionally ready to leave the sport than they currently are. . “I hate being at this fork in the road. I always say to myself, I wish it could be easy for me, but it’s not. I’m torn: I don’t want it to end, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next,” she admitted.
Poetically speaking, it looks like Williams’ last major tournament will be the US Open 2022, which runs from late August to early September. She won her first Grand Slam singles there in 1999. , when she was just 17 years old and was likely to take Court’s record with a win.
“I know there was a fan fantasy that I could have tied Margaret that day in London, maybe beat her record in New York, and then at the title ceremony said , ‘See you again!’ I understand that. It’s a good fantasy,” Williams wrote. “But I’m not looking for some final, ritual moment on the field.”
Still, it’s hard not to spring from such a transformative, boundary-breaking career for a storybook ending.
https://www.gq.com/story/serena-williams-tennis-retirement-announcement Serena Williams Announces Her Intention to Retire From Tennis