Serena Williams 'evolving away' from tennis after US Open
The sporting legend has won 23 Grand Slams in a glittering career.
Tennis legend Serena Williams has revealed that she is set to retire from tennis after this year's US Open.
The former World Number One – who is second in the all-time list of Grand Slam winners with 23 majors – announced the news in an emotional cover story for the latest issue of Vogue.
"I have never liked the word retirement," she said. "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."
Williams went on to detail some of the reasons behind her decision – including focusing on her family and her business interests.
But she said it had not been an easy decision and revealed that although she knows other elite tennis players who have felt comfortable with their retirement – including Ashleigh Barty and Caroline Wozniacki – she did not feel the same way.
"I’m terrible at goodbyes, the world’s worst," she continued. "But please know that I am more grateful for you than I can ever express in words.
"You have carried me to so many wins and so many trophies. I’m going to miss that version of me, that girl who played tennis. And I’m going to miss you."
Meanwhile, in an Instagram post that included the issue's cover, Williams added: "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."
Williams has been playing tennis professionally since 1995, when she was just 14-years-old, and has enjoyed a supremely impressive career.
She won her first Grand Slam at the US Open in 1999 and went on to be victorious at Flushing Meadows on a further five occasions, in addition to seven wins at both Wimbledon and the Australian Open and three triumphs at Roland-Garros.
She was also an extremely successful doubles player, winning a further 14 majors alongside her sister Venus, who she also met in many singles finals.
Williams is currently playing at the Canadian Open as she gears up to play in her final major, with the US open set to get underway on Monday 29th August, giving her one last chance to equal Margaret Court's long-standing record of 24 Grand Slams.
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