Amidst a collection of fierce female competitors in sports, Serena Williams is one of the most recognizable female athletes — and, along the way, she has comfortably established herself as a dominant force in the world of tennis. Throughout her groundbreaking career, Williams has won 23 Grand Slam titles, multiple Olympic gold medals, and was ranked #1 by the Women’s Tennis Association for over 300 weeks. Born in Saginaw, Michigan, Serena was bound for tennis greatness along with her older sister Venus, with both women having been coached by their father Richard Williams.
However, despite Serena’s incomparable legacy, she recently wrote an article for Vogue, in which she formally announced her retirement from the sport of tennis, saying:
“I’ve been reluctant to admit that I have to move on from playing tennis. It’s like a taboo topic. It comes up, and I start to cry. I think the only person I’ve really gone there with is my therapist.”
And while this decision is certainly not easy for Serena, it’s a step that she is willing to take in order to move on to the next significant chapter in her life — which is primarily focusing on her family.
So, why is Serena Williams retiring?
In her personal essay for Vogue, Serena cited the reason that she is retiring from tennis is to focus on her family, and to give her daughter, Olympia, a baby sister. In the emotionally-charged farewell, Serena recalled an experience with Olympia where Serena overheard her speaking into an educational app, telling the app that all she wants to be when she grows up is a big sister. Immediately, Serena reminisced on moments with her own sisters, and noted that her childhood growing up with her sisters was insanely powerful, and helped to shape her into the strong woman that she is today.
Ultimately, this is one of the hardest decisions that Serena will ever have to make — not only as a tremendous athlete bowing out of the sport, but as a proud mother who only wants the best for her daughter and husband. Serena also recalled when she was two months pregnant with Olympia and won the Australian Open back in 2017. And with a jaw-dropping resume under her belt, she’ll never be forgotten as one of the greatest female athletes of all time.
Despite Serena’s upcoming retirement, the tennis legend is adamant about her legacy remaining intact, and even expressed interest in having her origin story told in a film similar to her father’s story in King Richard. As for now, the gifted champion is looking forward to permanently focusing on family life and giving Olympia the baby sister that she’s been dreaming of.