Serena Williams has announced her retirement from tennis after hinting she’d hang up her tennis racket for good during the National Bank Open in Toronto.
The tennis champion, who has a staggering 23 grand slam titles under her belt, has told Vogue: "There is no happiness in this topic for me. I know it’s not the usual thing to say, but I feel a great deal of pain.
"It’s the hardest thing that I could ever imagine. I hate it. I hate that I have to be at this crossroads. I keep saying to myself, I wish it could be easy for me, but it’s not. I’m torn: I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next."
She continued, "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."
During her interview the tennis champion also admitted that she'd like to grow her family. Serena, who is married to tech entrepreneur Alexia Ohanian, is already a mother to Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., four.
The confirmation comes mere hours after the 40-year-old beat Nuria Parrizas Diaz in Toronto, her first singles win since the 2021 French Open. The win came after she was knocked out of Wimbledon earlier this summer by Harmony Tan during the first round.
Speaking about her desire to continue playing the sport in Toronto she noted, via Sky News, "I guess there's just a light at the end of the tunnel. I don't know, I'm getting closer to the light.
"Lately that's been it for me. I can't wait to get to that light. But I can't do this forever. So sometimes you just want to try your best to enjoy the moments and do the best that you can."
Speaking about her most recent win, Serena Williams said, "I was happy to have a win. It's been a very long time. I forgot what it felt like.
"I felt like I competed well, and I think that's what I needed to do is just to compete. Mentally, I feel I'm getting there. I'm not where I normally am, and I'm not where I want to be. But I think any match that I play, whether I win or lose, it helps me get there.
"Physically I feel much better in practice, it's just getting that to the court. But literally, I'm the kind of person who it just takes one or two things and then it clicks. So I'm just waiting on that to click."
Serena Williams has enjoyed a three-decade long career and been ranked world No. 1 by the Women's Tennis Association on several occasions.
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