Please update your profile

Your Safe Play Approval Expires in $(daysToExpire) days!

Your Safe Play Approval has expired!

Your Admin status expires in $(daysToExpire) days!

Your Organization Admin is expired!

Your Membership Expires in $(daysToExpire) days!

Your Membership has expired!

Please complete your account creation
This is the membership endpoints html.
Pro Media & News

Serena Williams says she's planning to 'evolve' away from tennis

Victoria Chiesa | August 09, 2022


Serena Williams says she's ready for the next step. In a first-person essay in Vogue on Tuesday, the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion says she's ready for an "evolution," and to enter the post-tennis phase of her life.

 

"I have never liked the word retirement," Williams wrote."It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. ... 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, now 40, is expected to play the US Open for the 21st time later this month. A six-time singles champion in New York, Williams says that raising the Open trophy was always her goal from when she first picked up a racquet—a feat she first achieved at age 17 in 1999. Twenty-two other major titles followed, giving Williams the Open Era record for Grand Slam singles titles won, male or female.

 

"I keep saying to myself, I wish it could be easy for me, but it’s not. I’m torn: I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next," she added. "I don’t know how I’m going to be able to look at this magazine when it comes out, knowing that this is it, the end of a story that started in Compton, Calif., with a little Black girl who just wanted to play tennis. This sport has given me so much. I love to win. I love the battle. I love to entertain. I’m not sure every player sees it that way, but I love the performance aspect of it—to be able to entertain people week after week.

Photo by Garrett Ellwood/USTA.

"Some of the happiest times in my life were spent waiting in that hallway in Melbourne, and walking out into Rod Laver Arena with my earphones in and trying to stay focused and drown out the noise but still feeling the energy of the crowd. Night matches in Arthur Ashe Stadium at Flushing Meadows. Hitting an ace on set point."

 

Williams made her most recent comeback to tennis in June after nearly a full year away thanks to a leg injury. After a first-round defeat at Wimbledon, she's playing in Toronto this week and is also entered in Cincinnati prior to the US Open. Whatever the result in New York, she says, she'll take the memories she's made with her forever.

 

"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 ... But I’m not looking for some ceremonial, final on-court moment. I’m terrible at goodbyes, the world’s worst. But please know that I am more grateful for you than I can ever express in words. You have carried me to so many wins and so many trophies.

 

"I’m going to miss that version of me, that girl who played tennis. And I’m going to miss you."

 

Read more from Williams' essay on on USOpen.org.

Advertisement

Related Articles

  • GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: (L-R), Rajeev Ram of United States, Jack Sock of United States, Tommy Paul of United States, Taylor Fritz of United States and Bob Bryan, team captain of United States stand as they observe the National Anthem during the Davis Cup Group D match between United States and Great Britain at Emirates Arena on September 14, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images for LTA)
    Pro Media & News
    Davis Cup: U.S. in Final 8
    September 17, 2022
    The U.S. placed second in the four-team Group D in Glasgow, Scotland to reach the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals Final 8 in Malaga, Spain in November. Read More
  • Taylor Fritz action shot Davis Cup
    Pro Media & News
    Davis Cup: U.S. goes 2-0
    September 15, 2022
    Tommy Paul and Taylor Fritz each won their singles matches to lead the U.S. to a victory over Kazakhstan on Day 2 of the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals Group Stage. Read More
  • Pro Media & News
    Davis Cup: U.S. edges GB
    September 14, 2022
    Rajeev Ram and Jack Sock rallied from a set down to defeat Joe Salisbury and Andy Murray in the deciding doubles match to give Team USA a 2-1 win over Great Britain in its first tie of the 2022 Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals Group Stage. Read More