The end of an era as Serena Williams announces retirement

Serena Williams waves after a match

Serena Williams has confirmed that she will hang up her racket following the US Open Tournament, bringing to an end an amazing tennis career.

After claiming her first victory in 340 days since last year’s French Open at the National Bank Open on Monday, the American tennis great hinted at retirement by telling reporters: “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.”

Her comments had worried fans, but the 23-time Grand Slam champion has confirmed her decision to bring her career to an end, announcing the news to the world in a recent interview with Vogue.

Williams has one daughter, Olympia, with husband Alexis Ohanian, and she is looking to spend more time with her family following a glittering globe-trotting career.

The 40-year-old, in an emotional statement, said to Vogue, in which she appears on the front cover for September’s edition: “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.

“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.

“But 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!”

Williams added: “The way I see it, I should have had 30-plus Grand Slams. I had my chances after coming back from giving birth. I went from a C-section to a second pulmonary embolism to a Grand lam final. I played while breastfeeding. I played through postpartum depression.

“But I didn’t get there. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. I didn’t show up the way I should have or could have. But I showed up 23 times, and that’s fine. Actually it’s extraordinary. But these days, if I have to choose between building my tennis résumé and building my family, I choose the latter.

It seems that the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati as well as the US Open which gets underway later this month, will be her final tournament.

In addition to her 23 singles Grand Slam triumphs, Williams has won a total of 14 doubles titles at the four showpiece tennis majors. And she will go down in history as one of the greatest tennis players of all time.

Source: The Vogue and Mirror

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