Tennis legend Serena Williams has been a fierce advocate for gender equality both on and off the court and when she announced her retirement from the sport Tuesday morning, she made an important point about the unique sacrifices women must make in their careers.
In a Vogue article, Williams, who turns 41 next month, said that she will retire after the U.S. Open, which begins in late August. A win at the tournament would tie her with Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam titles.
“I have never liked the word retirement,” Williams wrote in the article, which was transcribed from her conversation with Vogue contributor Rob Haskell. “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 cited her family as the main reason why she will step away from the sport, writing that her 4-year-old daughter Olympia wants to be a big sister. Williams has been married to Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian since 2017.If Serena Williams is looking for some momentum heading into what is expected to be her final U.S. Open in a few weeks, she will have to wait. Williams playing her first match since indicating this week she’s in the home stretch of her storied tennis career, fell 6-2, 6-4 to Belinda Bencic in the second round of the WTA’s National Bank Open in Toronto. The 23-time Grand Slam champion was undone by shaky serving as Switzerland’s Bencic broke her twice in the first set and once in the second.
She is a symbol. A persona. An athlete who has gone far beyond the footsteps of her trailblazing sister Venus. She refuses to stop there. Announcing her plans to retire from tennis, Serena Williams will focus her life far beyond sports, instead prioritizing being a mother, a fashion maker, a venture capitalist and much more. She will design her future as she sees fit. Girl Power at it’s finest. Congratulations Serena you have nothing else to prove.