Serena Williams took her final bow at what she said will be her last professional tennis competition on September 2nd, 2022. The 23-time Grand Slam winner captivated fans and drew scores of celebrities and record-breaking viewers to Arthur Ashe Stadium during her epic run, but ultimately lost to Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round. Recently retired track star and Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix gushed over Serena’s incredible career and shared her advice for the athlete now that she has a bunch of free time (not really, though). “I hope she just soaks it all in!” the 11-time Olympic medalist told HollywoodLife in an EXCLUSIVE interview. “We were all watching and just celebrating this incredible career as she moves towards other passions in her life. She’s been a gift and to myself and to so many other people, and I just hope that she really really enjoys it.”
Allyson, 36, announced her retirement before the 2024 Olympics in Paris, running her final race in the city where she grew up on Sunday, August 7. “My dream scenario would be to run in my hometown, on the streets. I think that would be the coolest thing ever,” Felix told her partners at Athleta at the time. “A lot of friends and family, they’ve never been able to see me run in person. You know, there’s not meets here anymore. I thought that this was a perfect full circle moment to just have a celebration.” As the most decorate sprinter in US history, the mother of one postponed her retirement briefly, after coaches asked her return to the world championships to race in the preliminaries of the women’s 4×400 in July.
“I think it still hasn’t quite hit me yet. But I’m just really enjoying a little more family time,” Allyson told HL following her final run. “Eating some of my favorite things that I haven’t been able to eat, and recovering my body from all of it. It’s been really nice, but you know, a lot of things on the horizon as well!”
The sprinter admitted that she “knew” it was time to retire because she “felt fulfilled” in her career. “I felt like I was able to do a lot of things that I wanted to, accomplish a lot of goals and, this past season, I really felt for the first time that I wasn’t sure if I had any more to give,” she explained. “I absolutely love competing. I love all of it, and I know I’m going to miss it so much, but it felt like it was the right time. I knew that there are other projects that I wanted to do, and I felt like it was time to step away and move towards those things.”
One of those projects includes Allyson’s recent partnership with Clorox! Back-to-school season brings a host of new germs into the home, and with Allyson’s 3-year-old daughter Camryn ready for the new year, she is spreading the news about how to protect the whole family from getting sick this fall with Clorox. “I’m super proud to partner with Clorox and to help parents start the school year off in a clean way,” Allyson told HL. “We can’t afford to be stopped by the common cold or flu, so I’m really excited to help parents have an unstoppable year.”Click to Subscribe to Get Our Free HollywoodLife Daily Newsletter to get the hottest celeb news.