Serena Williams reveals tennis retirement is imminent

·2-min read

Serena Williams has revealed she is about to retire from tennis, announcing "the countdown has begun" with the US Open seemingly set to be her final tournament.

With 23 grand slam singles titles, Williams is the most decorated player of the Open Era, but her most recent major success came at the 2017 Australian Open.

The 40-year-old is one title shy of Margaret Court's all-time record and appears set for one last shot at matching the Australian.

Williams wrote on Tuesday of her plan to "move in a different direction" after "these next few weeks" following a long piece in Vogue.

She has already been named on the entry list for the US Open, which starts at Flushing Meadows at the end of August.

Posting an image of her interview on Instagram, Williams said: "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 as exciting Serena.

"I'm just going to relish these next few weeks."

Within the Vogue piece, she added: "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.

"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 wrote at length about the reasons for her decision, saying: "I started a family. I want to grow that family."

The American great had hinted at this decision on Monday following her defeat of Nuria Parrizas-Diaz at the Canadian Open.

That was Williams' first singles win in 430 days, and she said: "I guess there's just a light at the end of the tunnel.

"I don't know, I'm getting closer to the light, so… lately that's been it for me. I can't wait to get to that light."

When asked what "the light" means to her, Williams responded: "Freedom." She added: "I can't do this forever."