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Serena Williams Announces Her Retirement From Tennis in Vogue’s Latest Issue

“I have never liked the word retirement,” says Williams, “It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me.”

319 weeks as World No.1; Australian Open champion – 7x; Wimbledon champion – 7x; US Open champion – 6x; French Open champion – 3x. That’s the tennis legacy of the G.O.AT Serena Williams.

In an emotional op-ed for Vogue Magazine‘s latest issue, Serena Williams announced that after the US Open which begins August 29th, she’ll be “evolving away from tennis”.

Serena Williams with her daughter, Olympia.

…I’ve been reluctant to admit to myself or anyone else that I have to move on from playing tennis. Alexis, my husband, and I have hardly talked about it; it’s like a taboo topic. I can’t even have this conversation with my mom and dad. It’s like it’s not real until you say it out loud. It comes up, I get an uncomfortable lump in my throat, and I start to cry. The only person I’ve really gone there with is my therapist! One thing I’m not going to do is sugarcoat this. I know that a lot of people are excited about and look forward to retiring, and I really wish I felt that way,” Williams wrote in the emotional piece.

Here are few things from her Vogue’s magazine issue.

Tennis and Family

Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family. I don’t think it’s fair. 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. Don’t get me wrong: I love being a woman, and I loved every second of being pregnant with Olympia. I was one of those annoying women who adored being pregnant and was working until the day I had to report to the hospital—although things got super complicated on the other side. And I almost did do the impossible: A lot of people don’t realize that I was two months pregnant when I won the Australian Open in 2017. But I’m turning 41 this month, and something’s got to give.

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Retirement”

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. A few years ago I quietly started Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm. Soon after that, I started a family. I want to grow that family.

… My whole life, up to now, has been tennis. My dad says I first picked up a racket when I was three, but I think it was even earlier. There’s a picture of Venus pushing me in a stroller on a tennis court, and I couldn’t have been more than 18 months. Unlike Venus, who’s always been stoic and classy, I’ve never been one to contain my emotions. I remember learning to write my alphabet for kindergarten and not doing it perfectly and crying all night. I was so angry about it. I’d erase and rewrite that A over and over, and my mother let me stay up all night while my sisters were in bed. That’s always been me. I want to be great. I want to be perfect. I know perfect doesn’t exist, but whatever my perfect was, I never wanted to stop until I got it right.

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