Serena Williams has never wanted to choose between tennis and her family. But when that choice was forced upon the 23-time major champion, it did not end well for the fuzzy yellow ball. In a detailed letter published in Vogue Magazine, Williams explained her decision to prioritize having a second child over continuing her tennis career and the reasons behind it.
If I were a guy, I wouldn’t be writing this because I’d be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labor of expanding our family. Maybe I’d be more of a Tom Brady if I had that opportunity. Don’t get me wrong: I love being a woman, and I loved every second of being pregnant with Olympia. … But I’m turning 41 this month, and something’s got to give.Serena Williams in Vogue
Williams has made it very clear that she does not want to retire from the sport. That’s why she won’t. She can’t even bear the thought of retiring. The 40-year-old simply made the choice to evolve away from active competition.
With Serena’s focus firmly set on expanding her family, a Bradyesque un-retirement is extremely unlikely. And unlike fellow greats of their respective atheletic fields, there will not be a farewell tour like there was for Kobe Bryant during his final season for the Los Angeles Lakers. However, fans will have a chance to see Serena on the court once more during this year’s US Open later this month.
But the tournament is certainly not the last time that the world of tennis and the general public are going to be able to see Serena Williams despite her retirement from professional tennis. The entrepreneur and accomplished business woman is way too present for that. So her final tournament is not a goodbye. By her own admission, she’s terrible at those anyways.
What the US Open do provide however – whether Serena manages to tie Margaret Court’s arecord of 24 major titles or not – is an opportunity to gratefully observe one of the all-time best at her craft play the sport she indubitably changed forever. Williams is going to “relish these next few weeks” and so should all of us.