Tennis legend Serena Williams announces retirement from glorious career for family reasons

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American tennis icon Serena Williams has announced that she will hang up her racquets following the US Open at Flushing Meadows later this month. Williams will go down in sports history as one of the best athletes of all time.

According to Metro, professional tennis player Serena Williams has announced her intention to retire from the court following the upcoming US Open, which will run from late August into September. The star's bombshell announcement was made during an interview with Vogue back on Tuesday as she appears on the front cover for September's edition of the media outlet.

Serena wants to spend more time with her family

In an emotional statement, Serena explained that although she has 'never liked retirement', it is inevitable as she approaches 41 years old this month. The sports star said:

'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.'

She added that she would prefer to perceive her retirement as a 'transition and evolution':

'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.'

Before Serena confirmed her departure from professional tennis, she had hinted at the possibility after beating Nuria Parrizas at the National Bank Open in Toronto on Monday. The game marked her second appearance in 2022 after losing to French star Harmony Tan at Wimbledon earlier this summer. Noticeably, the triumph ended Serena's 340-day draught for victory since last year's French Open. She then told reporters about her future plans after the match ended:

'I love playing, though... but, you know, I can't do this forever. Sometimes you just want to try your best to enjoy the moments, and do the best that you can.'

The tennis great, winner of 23 Grand Slam championships, explained her break from professional tennis will allow her to spend more quality time with her family. Serena has been married to her husband, technology entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian since 2017. Alexis was the founder of the internationally famous website Reddit and several other tech companies. Shortly after their marriage, Serena and Alexis welcomed their first child, a daughter named Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.

Tennis legend Serena Williams announces retirement from glorious career for family reasons Fred Lee

Explaining the reasons why she walked away from the sport that catapults her to the limelight, Serena posted an Instagram post, in which the self-made millionaire made it clear that she and Alexis are planning to give birth to another child, but not until Serena has ceased all athletic activities. Back in 2017, Serena, who was then champion of the Australian Open, nearly lost her life after giving birth to Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. She wrote:

‘In the last year, Alexis and I have been trying to have another child, and we recently got some information from my doctor that put my mind at ease and made me feel that whenever we’re ready, we can add to our family.'
Tennis legend Serena Williams announces retirement from glorious career for family reasons Axelle/Bauer-Griffin

Another factor contributing to the tennis great's decision is that she's now preoccupied with her venture capital firm, Serena Ventures. According to CNBC, the California-based venture capitalist raised $111 million in outside financing this year, 2% of which will be allocated to promoting women's rights in society.

Serena's illustrious career highlights

Launching her professional tennis career at age 14, Serena Williams has grown to be one of the greatest athletes of all time. During her glittering career, the Michigan-born has won seven Wimbledon titles, seven Australian Opens, six US Opens, and three French Opens. Serena's total tally of 23 Grand Slam titles, the latest of which dated back in 2017, makes her only one shy of the 24-title record held by former Australian superstar Margaret Court.

Reflecting on her chance of surpassing Margaret's astonishing feat, Serena said:

'There are people who say I’m not the GOAT 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. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want that record.'

According to The Guardian, Serena's glorious career has brought her a total of $94,588,910 in prize money and many more in endorsements and sponsorships from global brands including Nike, Audemars Piguet, Away, Beats, Bumble, Gatorade, and Gucci.

Aside from her 23 singles Grand Slam titles, Williams has also achieved tremendous success in doubles, alongside her elder sister Venus. Together, the pair has consolidated a sublime partnership, winning 14 grand slam women’s doubles titles together.

© Fred Lee

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