Serena Williams, the American tennis superstar, has announced her retirement from the sport following the US Open.
Williams revealed this after winning the National Bank Open on Monday, her first victory in 340 days since the French Open last year.
“I love playing, though,” the 40-year-old said. but, you know, I can’t do this forever. Sometimes you just want to do your best to enjoy the moment and do your best.”
Her comments concerned fans, but the 23-time Grand Slam champion has now confirmed her decision to retire, announcing the news to the world in an interview with Vogue.
Williams, in an emotional statement, said: “I’m turning 41 this month, and something’s got to give. 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. Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution.”
She continued: “I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me. I showed up 23 times, and that’s fine. Actually, it’s extraordinary.
“But I’ve been reluctant to admit to myself or anyone else that I have to move on from playing tennis. Alexis, my husband, and I have hardly talked about it; it’s like a taboo topic. I can’t even have this conversation with my mom and dad. It’s like it’s not real until you say it out loud. It comes up, I get an uncomfortable lump in my throat, and I start to cry. The only person I’ve really gone there with is my therapist!”