Serena Williams says she ‘won’t relax’ after playing final game before scheduled retirement | Tennis News
Serena Williams says she ‘won’t relax’ after playing what will likely be her last competitive tennis match, and can now find time for ‘things I’ve wanted to do for so many years’ .
The global tennis phenom said her “retirement” from the sport was “more of an evolution of Serena” and that it was time for her to explore her other passions.
The multiple Grand Slam winner withdrew from the third round of the US Open tournament earlier this month after losing in straight sets to Ajla Tomljanovic.
Speaking about her tennis career on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, she said: “I think retirement is something that’s super deserved and people work really hard for.
“I feel like I’m at an age where I definitely have a lot more to give and there’s a lot more I want to do, so I’m not going to relax, there’s so much more for me.
“I feel like it’s more of an evolution of Serena.”
She added: “There are so many things I’ve wanted to do for so many years and I’ve had such a passion for tennis for so long that I’ve never done them.
“Now it’s time for me to start enjoying these things.”
Teased by Fallon about a possible return to his sport, similar to that of NFL legend Tom Brady, she replied, “Tom Brady started an incredible trend. That’s what I mean.”
Serena Williams: the career of a tennis icon
Age has never been a barrier for the irrepressible Williams, who has won 12 of her 23 major titles after 2010, last winning a major title at the Australian Open in 2017, as she was eight weeks pregnant.
Williams has also been a runner-up in 10 major finals, but she’s been stuck out of 23 Grand Slams since 2017. She’s tried and tried to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record – but so far hasn’t.
Injuries and illness played a part in Williams’ incredible story, although she continued to defy logic by struggling again and again.
Since 1998, she has topped the chart 10 times, exiting only three times during that time.
Williams also finished her ‘Golden Slam’ career holding all four majors as well as singles gold at the Olympics. Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf and Rafael Nadal are the only other players to achieve such a feat.
The irresistible Williams also won the “Serena Slam” (winning all four Grand Slams in a row) – not one, but two. In 2003 and 2015.
Her clashes with her older sister Venus are legendary while her dominance over Maria Sharapova is arguably the most legendary rivalry in women’s tennis.
Away from the tennis court, Williams suffered serious complications after giving birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr in September 2017 and was bedridden for six weeks. “I almost died after giving birth to my daughter, Olympia,” Williams revealed in an interview with Vogue.
Just two months later, Williams and her partner Alexis Ohanian were married. “Alexis doesn’t dim my light. He doesn’t try to dim my light,” she explained to Allure. “He puts me in the spotlight, even though I don’t want to be. He pushes me to other points that I had never thought of.”
Serena continued to prove her amazing resilience, fighting spirit and winning mentality at the highest level.