Superstar Serena Williams announced her retirement from tennis and said that “nothing is a sacrifice for her,” as she explained that she’s choosing building her family rather than her tennis résumé.
In a lengthy article written by the 40-year-old tennis superstar for Vogue, Serena talked about how much she will miss the part of her that played tennis, but that she’s come to a moment in her life when she wants to grow her family and doesn’t want to be “pregnant again as an athlete.”
Williams and husband Alexis Ohanian share a daughter, Alexis Olympia, who turns five this month.
In Vogue’s September issue, @serenawilliams prepares to say farewell to tennis on her own terms and in her own words. “It’s the hardest thing that I could ever imagine,” she says. “I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next” https://t.co/6Zr0UXVTH1 pic.twitter.com/YtGtcc18a9
— Vogue Magazine (@voguemagazine) August 9, 2022
“Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family,” the tennis star wrote. “I don’t think it’s fair. If I were a guy, I wouldn’t be writing this because I’d be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labor of expanding our family.”
“Maybe I’d be more of a Tom Brady if I had that opportunity,” she added. “Don’t get me wrong: I love being a woman, and I loved every second of being pregnant with Olympia. 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,” Williams continued. “But 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.”
The athlete explained that she’d rather think of this time as “a transition” and “evolution,” and wrote that she’s “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,” Williams shared, while at the same time admitting the idea of retirement brings her a “great deal of pain” and is not something she’s looking forward to. She wrote that she’s “torn: I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next.”
And she shared that “if I have to choose between building my tennis résumé and building my family, I choose the latter,” as she explained that when it comes to her daughter, “nothing is a sacrifice” for her. “It all just makes sense,” she said.