Serena Williams, 40, Announces She’s ‘Moving On’ From Tennis After U.S. Open To Expand Family

After an incredible career and 23 Grand Slam wins, Serena Williams will officially be hanging up her tennis racket following the 2022 U.S. Open in September.

Serena Williams is retiring from tennis. The pro-athlete announced her decision in an essay for the September issue of Vogue, confirming that she plans on the U.S. Open being her last tournament. The decision came amidst her and her husband, Alexis Ohanian’s, desire to expand their family and give their four-year-old daughter, Olympia Ohanian, a younger sibling. Although Serena said she “never like the word retirement,” she revealed that she will be “moving on” from her sport this fall.

“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,” she wrote. “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.” In addition to her family, Serena now plans on focusing her attention on her venture capital firm, Serena Ventures.

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Serena Williams during a tennis match. (Mark Greenwood/IPS/Shutterstock)

Despite coming to terms with her decision, Serena said there is “no happiness” in talking about the subject of retirement. “It’s the hardest thing I could ever imagine,” she admitted. “I hate it. I hate that I have to be at this crossroads.”

Throughout her illustrious career, Serena won 23 Grand Slam titles, putting her two short of beating Margaret Court’s record of 24. Despite wanting to beat that record, Serena looks back on her career proudly, noting how she won one of her titles while two months pregnant, then played after having a C-section and while she was breastfeeding and suffering from postpartum depression. “These days, if I have to choose between building my tennis resume and building my family, I choose the latter,” she concluded.

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Serena Williams on the cover of Vogue. (Luis Alberto Rodriguez)

Serena also revealed in the essay that she’s already spoken to her doctor about expanding her family, and the conversation “put [her] mind at ease and made [her] feel that whenever [they’re] ready, [they] can add to [their] family.” First, though, she has one more big tournament in her: The 2022 U.S. Open. “I don’t know if I will be ready to win New York, but I’m going to try,” she said. “And the lead-up tournaments will be fun….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.”

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