Serena Williams Retiring from Tennis

by Bryan Fyalkowski

In an article that will run in Vogue Magazine‘s upcoming September issue, Serena Williams is quoted as saying she plans to retire from tennis.

“I’m turning 41 this month, and something’s got to give,” she said. “I have never liked the word ‘retirement.’ It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me … 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.”

The soon-to-be 41-year-old Williams explains that she wants to spend more time with her four-year-old daughter – Olympia – and continue to grow her family. She also says she has recently shifted a lot of her attention towards “Serena Ventures” – a venture capital firm she began in 2008.

As far as on-court accomplishments go, her 23 career grand slam singles titles rank second all-time to Margaret Court’s 24. Williams addressed not quite being able to reach that number.

“I started playing tennis with the goal of winning the U.S. Open. I didn’t think past that. And then I just kept winning,” Williams shared. “There are people who say I’m not the G.O.A.T. because I didn’t pass Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam titles, which she achieved before the “open era” that began in 1968.

She continued: “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want that record. Obviously, I do. But day to day, I’m really not thinking about her.”

What’s Next for the G.O.A.T. Serena Williams After Tennis?

Serena Williams explains that while one of her friends – Caroline Wozniacki – felt relief when she retired in 2020, she will feel no such thing. But she is excited about her post-tennis career.

“It’s the hardest thing that I could ever imagine. I hate that I have to be at this crossroads,” she explained. “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.”

Williams continued: “But these days, if I have to choose between building my tennis résumé and building my family, I choose the latter … I need to be two feet into tennis or two feet out.”

She says she plans to compete in the U.S. Open from August 29-to-September 11, as well as the tournaments leading up to it. Beyond that, Williams did not share any details about her playing future. The upcoming grand slam might be it for the tennis legend.