Serena Williams is stepping away from tennis, although she doesn’t have a firm date in mind and she’s not using the word ‘retirement.’
‘I have never liked the word,’ Williams wrote in the latest issue of Vogue. ‘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,’ she continued. ‘I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.’
Those ‘other things,’ she explained are business and family.
For starters, Williams not only wants to spend more time with her husband, Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, and their five-year-old, Olympia, but the 23-time Grand Slam singles winner revealed that the couple is trying to have another child in the near future.
‘In the last year, Alexis and I have been trying to have another child, and we recently got some information from my doctor that put my mind at ease and made me feel that whenever we’re ready, we can add to our family,’ Williams wrote. ‘I definitely don’t want to be pregnant again as an athlete. I need to be two feet into tennis or two feet out.’
Williams is not quitting immediately. For starters, she’s currently playing in a tournament in Toronto, and actually just won her first match in 430 days on Monday after battling health issues for much of the past few seasons.
And as she revealed in her piece, Williams is still hopeful she can play at the US Open in New York later this month. She’s also committed to playing at next week’s Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.
‘Unfortunately I wasn’t ready to win Wimbledon this year,’ she wrote. ‘And I don’t know if I will be ready to win New York. But I’m going to try. And the lead-up tournaments will be fun.’
And Williams isn’t looking for the kind of ‘farewell’ tour that many male athletes have enjoyed before their imminent retirements.
Instead, the younger half of the famed Williams Sisters thanked fans in her piece and admitted that she’s going to miss the game.