Serena Williams said on Tuesday, August 9, that she is “evolving away from tennis” as she hinted at retiring from the sport she dominated for much of her career with 23 singles Grand Slam titles.
Serena Williams wrote in a Vogue article;
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. I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.
Reluctance To Retire
She further revealed her reluctance at moving on from professional tennis, revealing she hardly discusses the issue with her husband, despite a lengthy injury layoff.
Serena further explained;
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! One thing I’m not going to do is sugarcoat this. I know that a lot of people are excited about and look forward to retiring, and I really wish I felt that way.
Ashleigh Barty was number one in the world when she left the sport this March, and I believe she really felt ready to move on. Caroline Wozniacki, who is one of my best friends, felt a sense of relief when she retired in 2020.