In a Vogue profile released Tuesday morning, Serena Williams officially announced that the time is coming when she will leave the sport of professional tennis. The all-time great did not give any date or timeline for when that will occur, though strongly hints that it will be sooner rather than later. She does say that she will at least play at the US Open, but then hints that that might be all.
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. And the lead-up tournaments will be fun.
Williams said in the profile that she and her husband want and are ready to try to have a second child, and that she does not want to be pregnant and play tennis again. It took her over a year to get back on the court after her last pregnancy (she won the Australian Open while eight weeks pregnant), so the start of a second pregnancy would likely signal the end of her career.
Williams has been hampered by injury but returned at Wimbledon this year. She picked up her first win of the season on Monday at the National Bank Open (formerly Rogers Cup) in Toronto. Will her level be high enough to be competitive in the later rounds? Will it be high enough to compete for the title at the US Open? Perhaps. We’ve learned over the course of her illustrious career to never count Serena Williams out.
The Legacy of Serena Williams
This is, perhaps, not the correct time to discuss her legacy. Serena herself spoke about it a little in the Vogue profile. And the American’s true place in the game’s history deserves books, not articles. She dominated the game, she changed the game, and then she dominated the game once more. She then took a break from the game–while one Major short of the all-time record–to have a daughter, and came back and reached four more Major finals, a full generation older than the women she faced in them.
We will certainly have a full treatment (more than one) on Serena’s legacy here at LWOT. For now, we will suffice to say that she was one of the greatest and most transformational women to ever play the game, if not the absolute most. The sport will miss her. Whenever it comes–whether at the US Open next month or sometime next year–tennis without Serena Williams will never be the same.
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