Serena Williams, one of the greatest tennis players and most dominant American athletes ever, revealed in Vogue Magazine on Tuesday that she will retire following her appearance at the 2022 US Open.
The 40-year-old 23-time major champion expressed her desire to continue building her family as the main reason why she’ll step away from the game that she has dominated so often for the last 23 years.
“Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family. I don’t think it’s fair,” Williams said. “If I were a guy, I wouldn’t be writing this because I’d be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labor of expanding our family. Maybe I’d be more of a Tom Brady if I had that opportunity… 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.”
That includes the development of her capital firm, Serena Ventures, along with her husband, Alexis, trying to have another child where she expressed her desire not “to be pregnant again as an athlete. I need to be two feet into tennis or two feet out.”
Williams has worked her way back from a number of challenging and harrowing experiences in recent years. She battled complications during her childbirth that nearly took her life in 2017 before a torn hamstring suffered in 2021 sidelined her for a year.
She made a long-anticipated return to Wimbledon in June but was knocked out of the first round by Harmony Tan of France.
Queens will now play host to Williams’ swansong at a US Open tournament that she’s won six times throughout her storied career.
If you’re into storybook endings, she has one more magical run left in her to tie Margaret Court for the most Grand Slam tournaments ever won at 24. Regardless, America’s holy grail of tennis will surely provide a proper send-off for one of the greatest players to ever live.