Serena Williams, 40, may have just retired from tennis, but she could soon be making a comeback on the court. The star athlete got candid with Jimmy Fallon, 47, during the Sept. 13 episode of The Tonight Show just days after playing her final match in the US Open. When Jimmy asked her if she would possibly be “pulling a Tom Brady” down the line, Serena answered with, “You know what? Tom Brady started an amazing trend. That’s what I want to say.” Both of them were referring to the fact that the professional football player announced that he was retiring from the NFL back in January, only to announce his return 40 days later. Serena, too, announced that she is “evolving” away from tennis in an essay she wrote for Vogue on Aug. 9. But since she spoke to Jimmy, perhaps her time off the court will only be for a moment!
Jimmy followed up by asking the legendary tennis player if she didn’t want to “make a big fanfare” when it came to her departure from the sport. Serena then replied, “I always thought at the end of it I would just leave quietly and not say anything and make an announcement on social media.” The Olympic-winner added, “That’s how I always thought I would do it.” But instead of making a social media announcement regarding her retirement, Serena opted for penning her own essay for the high fashion magazine just last month.
“I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. 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,” Serena wrote for Vogue. The decades-long player added, “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.” The mom-of-one played her final US Open match on Sept. 2, and was defeated by Ajla Tomljanović, 29, in the third round 7-5, 6-7 (4/7), 6-1.
Following the match that will go down in history, Serena gave an emotional speech about her legendary sister, Venus Williams, 42. “I wouldn’t be Serena if there wasn’t Venus. She’s the only reason Serena Williams ever existed,” she said through tears on Sept. 2. The iconic tennis player has many impressive accolades to her name, including the fact that she is the only player to have won 10-plus Grand Slam titles within two different decades. She is also a 23-time Grand Slam winner, and four-time Olympic Gold Medal-winner.
Aside from tennis, Serena is not only a mother to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., 5, but she is also a wife. The 5′ 9″ athlete married her husband, Alexis Ohanian, 39, on November 16, 2017, following the birth of their adorable daughter.