Tennis Legend Serena Williams on Tuesday announced that she would retire after the U.S. Open, stating that she is “evolving” from the sport.
The 23-time Grand Slam winner made only her second appearance of the year this week at the National Bank Open In Toronto, and she said afterwards that she was “getting close to the light at the end of the tunnel” with regards to her career.
Williams is quoted in a Vogue article today as saying, “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.
“I’ve been reluctant to admit that I have to move on from playing tennis. It’s like a taboo topic. It comes up, and I start to cry. I think the only person I’ve really gone there with is my therapist,” she said.
Williams’ last Grand Slam title came in 2017, making it 23 for the American and just one short of Margaret Court, who holds the record for the most majors in history.
“There are people who say I’m not the GOAT (greatest of all time) because I didn’t pass Court’s record, which she achieved before the ‘Open era’ that began in 1968,” Williams said.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want that record. Obviously, I do. But day to day, I’m really not thinking about her. If I’m in a Slam final, then yes, I’m thinking about that record. Maybe I thought about it too much, and that didn’t help.”