“Other Things That Matter”
Tennis icon Serena Williams announces retirement
08/09/2022, 3:50 p.m
World tennis will have to do without Serena Williams in the future: the greatest and most successful player of her generation will end her great career after the US Open. The 40-year-old wants to take care of family and business in the future.
Serena Williams led the women’s tennis world rankings for 319 weeks, the American won 23 Grand Slam titles, she is one of the great personalities in the history of her sport. Now the 40-year-old, who only celebrated her comeback in July after a year-long injury break at Wimbledon, announced that her great career will soon come to an end: The US Open, which begins at the end of the month, will be the last tournament that she will play, she told Vogue magazine.
“I’m evolving away from tennis towards other things that are important to me,” including working with her venture capital firm and expanding her family, she said in the cover story. For the past year, she and her husband “have been trying to have another child and we recently received some information from my doctor that has put my mind at ease and feel like we can expand our family whenever we are ready I definitely don’t want to get pregnant again as an athlete. I have to have two legs in tennis or two legs out.”
Williams said she never liked the word resignation. “It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. I’m looking at this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use this word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people. Maybe that’s for the best word to describe what I’m about to do, evolution.”
“Know I won’t play forever”
Williams, who won the last Grand Slam title so far at the Australian Open during her first pregnancy in 2017, has long been chasing the 24th triumph in one of the four most important tournaments in world tennis – the 24th Grand Slam title would mean the end the eternal record set by Australian Margaret Court. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready to win Wimbledon this year,” Williams said, referring to her last major performance on the tennis tour. “And I don’t know if I’ll be ready to win New York. But I’ll try. And the preparation tournaments will be fun.” Her great career began in 1995 when Williams played her first matches on the professional tour. She won her first Grand Slam title at the US Open in 1999. In addition to her 23 singles titles at the Grand Slams, she also won 14 in doubles and two mixed. Serena Williams led the women’s doubles world rankings for ten weeks.
Williams had only celebrated her first victory in 14 months in Toronto during the night – and did not hint at an imminent resignation. “I think there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And I’m getting closer to that light. I can’t wait to go through it,” said the 40-year-old. The 23-time Grand Slam winner prevailed 6: 3, 6: 4 in the first round of the WTA tournament in the Canadian metropolis against lucky loser Nuria Parrizas-Diaz from Spain. It was her first win on the court since the French Open in 2021. “I know I won’t play forever, even if I love it,” said the former world number one, “so you have to enjoy every moment and do your best.”