By Justice Esiri
Serena Williams, the 40-year-old American professional tennis player revealed in a recent Vogue Photo Interview that her iconic tennis career is finally ending.
Although Williams has not announced an exact retirement date, it is widely believed that she will hang up her tennis rackets after this year’s US Open, which runs from August 29th to September 11th, 2022.
Serena Williams made her professional tennis debut at the age of 14 in 1995, serenating the world of tennis.
At the time, there were no fans or media, no commercials or endorsements — just a girl with a dream and her racket.
Williams won her first Grand Slam four years later in 1999, at the US Open, and has since won numerous other titles, making her the most successful woman in tennis history.
Highlights of Serena William’s career achievements till date
- 39 Grand Slams Title (23 Singles, 14 Doubles, and 2 mixed Doubles)
- 73 Singles Title
- 23 Doubles Title (14 of those with her sister, Venus Williams)
- 4 Olympic Gold Medals
- 319 weeks ranked No. 1
Isn’t it remarkable? We can only be in awe of her greatness. What’s more surprising is her background prior to limelight.
Williams did not strive for stardom, she was always trying to transcend her sister’s shadow and make a name for herself, as depicted in the film “King Richard.” Even after losing her first professional tennis match, she remained upbeat.
Her hard work, resilience, and perseverance helped her become the tennis sensation she is today, breaking down barriers of racial inequality and women stereotypes.
Williams’ career climax, however, was not particularly smooth—from becoming pregnant to experiencing a pulmonary embolism—she suffered from postpartum depression, which almost threatened her career. Not to mention the media scrutiny, with many questioning her ability to balance motherhood and tennis.
Amidst these hurdles, she still reached four major finals including breaking Steffi Graf’s Grand Slam Record in the 2017 AO Final.
In this tournament, Serena Williams defeated her sister, Venus Williams, which could be her final grand slam title, how poetic!
Serena reflected on these events in her interview with Vogue:
I was one of those annoying women who adored being pregnant and was working until the day I had to report to the hospital—although things got super complicated on the other side.
And I almost did do the impossible: A lot of people don’t realize that I was two months pregnant when I won the Australian Open in 2017. But I’m turning 41 this month, and something’s got to give.
Serena Williams disliked the word, “retirement.” She preferred to think of it as an “evolution” into other important aspects of her life, such as her daughter, family, and her $111 million business capital, which continues to inspire and create opportunities for millions of people worldwide.
I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me. A few years ago I quietly started Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm. Soon after that, I started a family. I want to grow that family.Serena Williams
Some may say that Serena’s tennis career is ending, but I can assure you that this all-time great female athlete is only beginning her next endeavour.
While the end of her career is on a countdown, her legacy lives forever.