| 11.4°C Dublin

Serena Williams admits to 'evolving away from tennis' with retirement talk

Close

Serena Williams plays a shot against Nuria Parrizas Diaz of Spain in first round play in the National Bank Open at Sobeys Stadium. Photo: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Serena Williams plays a shot against Nuria Parrizas Diaz of Spain in first round play in the National Bank Open at Sobeys Stadium. Photo: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Serena Williams plays a shot against Nuria Parrizas Diaz of Spain in first round play in the National Bank Open at Sobeys Stadium. Photo: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Serena Williams said on Tuesday that she is "evolving away from tennis" as she hinted at retiring from the sport she dominated for much of her career with 23 singles Grand Slam titles.

On Monday, Williams played only her second singles match since she returned to action at Wimbledon in June after a year-long absence from competition, beating Spain's Nuria Parrizas Diaz to reach the second round of the Toronto Open.

The 40-year-old won her last Grand Slam crown in 2017 and has been chasing an elusive 24th crown that will draw her level with Margaret Court who holds the record for most majors.

"I have never liked the word retirement," Williams wrote in a Vogue article.

"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.

"A few years ago I quietly started Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm. Soon after that, I started a family. I want to grow that family."

Williams later talked in an Instagram post about the time to move in a "different direction."

"That time is always hard when you love something so much," she added. "My goodness do I enjoy tennis.

Sport Newsletter

Get the best analysis and comment from our award-winning team of writers and columnists with our free newsletter.

This field is required

"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."The 23-time Grand Slam champion, whose long-awaited return from injury this year ended in an early exit at Wimbledon, won 6-3 6-4 in just under two hours at the National Bank Open.

It was the first time 40-year-old Williams, in only her second appearance of the year, had won a singles match since beating Danielle Collins at Roland Garros on June 4, 2021.

Afterwards, explaining her motivation to keep on playing, 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. Lately that's been it for me. I can't wait to get to that light."

Asked what the light represented, she replied: "Freedom. I love playing though, so it's like amazing. But, you know, I can't do this forever. So it's just like sometimes you just want to try your best to enjoy the moments and do the best that you can."

Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina also won her first match since her triumph at the All England Club, although she needed three hours to overcome Marie Bouzkova 7-5 6-7 6-1.



Most Watched





Privacy