Tennis legend Serena Williams said that she would “evolve away from tennis” after the 2022 US Open so she could focus on other things that are important to her. In an interview with Vogue magazine, Williams said that she would still do her best to snatch a victory in the tournament, but it might be her last as she is now willing to “move in a different direction.”
Vogue published a photo of the 23-time grand slam champion with the title ‘Serena’s Farewell… I’m terrible at goodbyes.’ Williams then posted this on her Instagram account with the caption, “There comes a time in life when we have to decide to move in a different direction.”
Williams said, “That time is always hard when you love something so much. My goodness, do I enjoy tennis. But now, the countdown has begun. I have to focus on being a mom, my spiritual goals, and finally discovering a different but just exciting Serena. I’m gonna relish these next few weeks.”
After winning a singles match during the Canadian Open in Toronto, Williams announced her graceful exit from the sport. It has been 430 days since she won a match.
After a short hiatus, Williams played at Wimbledon in June but unfortunately lost to Harmony Tan of France. She then hinted that she could compete in the US Open, starting August 29.
Williams said during an interview, despite the announcement: “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.”
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready to win Wimbledon this year. And I don’t know if I will be ready to win New York. But I’m going to try,” Williams added.
William’s career in tennis
Williams has been considered one of the most dominant women in world tennis in 30 years since her debut in 1995. The accompaniment of her sister Venus complements the upscaling of her popularity and dominance. The latter, side by side with Williams, won grand slams in many singles and doubles tennis tournaments.
Throughout William’s career, she has snatched 73 singles titles, 23 doubles, and two mixed doubles. Of those titles, 39 are grand slams, with 23 coming from singles tournaments, 12 for doubles tournaments, and two for mixed doubles events. Williams is only one grand slam shy from Margaret Court, an Australian tennis legend.
“I should have had it, really, I should — I’ve had many opportunities to have it. But I’m not giving up, to answer your question,” said Williams after being asked if she wanted to break Court’s record.
“I know there’s a fan fantasy that I might have tied Margaret that day in London, then maybe beat her record in New York, and then at the trophy ceremony say, ‘See ya!’ I get that. It’s a good fantasy. But I’m not looking for some ceremonial, final on-court moment. I’m terrible at goodbyes, the world’s worst,” she added.
Williams has also won 4 Olympic gold medals, contributing to the $94.5 million career prize money she has accumulated in decades. The figure is the most prize money than any female athlete in the industry.
“I get asked about it a lot, and I never know exactly what to say. But I’d like to think that thanks to the opportunities afforded to me, women athletes feel that they can be themselves on the Court. They can play with aggression and pump their fists. They can be strong yet beautiful. They can wear what they want and say what they want and kick butt and be proud of it all.
“Over the years, I hope that people come to think of me as symbolizing something bigger than tennis,” Williams concluded.