Serena Williams retirement
Former World #1 Serena Williams will hang up her racket, at least in singles. The American, who began playing professional tennis aged just 14 will retire now after her defeat at the hands of Tomljanovic at the US Open. The 40-year-old announced today that she has chosen to leave the sport.
Serena, who is the younger for the Williams sisters but also the more successful. hinted in August that she would retire, but on her terms. Speaking to Vogue, Williams said “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.”
Williams never officially announced that US Open would be her final tournament, but she ensured that it would be widely assumed to be the case thanks to her interview with Vogue. The American played the lead up events to Flushing Meadows. The former World #1 seemed very happy. Although, still wanting to win each and every tournament entered, the fact Williams is at peace with retirement could be seen.
Williams will concentrate on other interests now, including trying for another child. Serena Ventures is her growing company, and will allow the all-time great to invest in more new ideas. Some of the businesses that have been invested in by Serena include Noom.
Arguably the GOAT of tennis in the open era, Williams won 23 Grand Slam singles titles. She is the most successful female player in this era. Margaret Court has 24, which is the record that Williams was surely hoping to surpass. The American also has four Olympic Gold medals, three in the doubles with her sister Venus. In London 2012 Serena did the double, claiming the singles Gold Medal and the doubles with Venus. In fact, the Williams sisters are the only tennis players that hold four Olympic Golds.
Greatest of All Time
Debate around who the greatest tennis player of all time has always raged and will probably continue for many years. There are many who suggest that one of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic should be given the moniker. However, there are plenty of arguments that Williams deserves this title. With the Olympic Golds, 23 Grand Slams (again amend if she wins US Open) the American is probably ahead of all the male players that everyone is fighting to bestow the title on.
Williams’ legacy will be immense. Singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles signal that the American led the way in the Open Era. Serena will be missed on the court, but her legacy will continue. There has been no indication of an injury forcing Williams to retire, either. The 40-year-old is opting to retire on her own terms. It’s always sad for the fans, but it’s also a beautiful thing for the sports world to see.
Whatever else will be said, there is no escaping that Serena Williams will be missed.
Main Photo from Getty.