Say it isn’t so! Serena Williams shares she plans on retiring after the US Open later this month in the cover story for VOGUE magazine’s September 2022 issue. Deets on her retirement and her win at the Canadian Open inside….
In news we DIDN’T want to hear (but totally understand), Serena Williams has announced she intends to retire soon! Not happy about it, but we get it.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion doesn’t like the word “retire.” She’s looking at her next phase in life as an evolution into something greater. And we're not mad at it. The trailblazer definitely broke barriers for other young, African-American women to compete in a sport that they love and she has dominated the sport ever since she and her sister, Venus Williams, turned pro.
The tennis GOAT is 41 now and a mother to 4-year-old Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., who turns 5 next month. For VOGUE magazine's coveted September 2022 issue, Serena sat down with contributing editor Rob Haskell to compose her thoughts about preparing to say farewell to tennis on her own terms.
”I’ve been reluctant to admit that I have to move on from playing tennis,” she shared. “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.”
Serena revealed she's walking away from the sport she dominated for so many years after the U.S. Open (which kicks off August 29th), writing that she's in the midst of a "transition" from the court.
”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,” she said.
The angel investor shared how if she were a man, she likely wouldn’t be having this conversation.
”Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family. 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. 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. But I’m turning 41 this month, and something’s got to give.”
The bomb mom shared how her daughter Olympia has been wishing to become a big sister, hinting that she and her husband/Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian are looking to expand their family.
"We’re in my car, and she’s holding my phone, using an interactive educational app she likes. This robot voice asks her a question: What do you want to be when you grow up? She doesn’t know I’m listening, but I can hear the answer she whispers into the phone. She says, 'I want to be a big sister.'"
"Olympia says this a lot, even when she knows I’m listening. Sometimes before bed, she prays to Jehovah to bring her a baby sister. (She doesn’t want anything to do with a boy!) I’m the youngest of five sisters myself, and my sisters are my heroes, so this has felt like a moment I need to listen very carefully to."
Evolving from tennis has caused Serena to become more hands on with Serena Ventures, her venture capital firm.
“I always say that I’m a sponge: At night I go to bed and I squeeze myself out so that the next day I can take up as much new information as I can,” she says. Williams is targeting female founders and entrepreneurs; she was inspired to take action after learning that less than two percent of all VC money goes to women. . “Men are writing those big checks to one another, and in order for us to change that, more people who look like me need to be in that position, giving money back to themselves.”
As always, the tennis champ has always wanted equality for women when it comes to sports.
“To me that’s kind of the essence of being Serena: expecting the best from myself and proving people wrong,” she wrote. “I’d like to think that thanks to me, women athletes can be themselves. They can play with aggression and pump their fists. They can wear what they want and say what they want and kick butt and be proud of it all.”
And this is why we STAN.
On Instagram, she shared her VOGUE cover with the caption, "Vogue. September issue Cover. There comes a time in life when we have to decide to move in a different direction. That time is always hard when you love something so much. My goodness do I enjoy tennis. But now, the countdown has begun. I have to focus on being a mom, my spiritual goals and finally discovering a different, but just exciting Serena. I'm gonna relish these next few weeks."
Take a look behind-the-scenes of Serena’s VOGUE shoot below:
Also, watch the tennis goat break down 22 of her looks from the US Open to the Met Gala below:
Take a stroll down memory lane with ‘Rena below:
”My goal is not only to be number one. I want to be remembered,” she said.“I want to be remembered as the girl who changed tennis or someone who brought something new to the game.”
She DEF has done that. Peep the clip above.
You can read her full cover story here.
Speaking of tennis…
The NIKE athlete hit the tennis court in Toronto to compete in the 2022 Canadian Open where she defeated Spain’s Nuria Párrizas Díaz in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, during the tournament’s opening round. WOOT!
This marked Serena’s first singles match win in 14 months. If she wins at the Canadian Open, she’ll tie MargaretCourt with 24 grand slam titles. We’re keeping our fingers crossed!