In an op-ed published online Tuesday by Vogue, tennis legend Serena Williams suggests she will retire from the sport as she prepares for what could be her last US Open.
Williams, 40, is currently participating in the Canadian Open. She is scheduled to participate in next week’s Western and Southern Open before entering the US Open early next month.
The US Open is the final of four Grand Slam tournaments on the 2022 calendar.
“I’m not looking for some ceremonial, final on-court moment,” Williams said. “I’m terrible at goodbyes, the world’s worst. 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.”
Williams said broaching retirement has been difficult for her.
“But I’ve been reluctant to admit to myself or anyone else that I have to move on from playing tennis,” Williams wrote. “(Daughter) Alexis, my husband, and I have hardly talked about it; it’s like a taboo topic. I can’t even have this conversation with my mom and dad. It’s like it’s not real until you say it out loud. It comes up, I get an uncomfortable lump in my throat, and I start to cry. The only person I’ve really gone there with is my therapist.”
Williams has 23 singles Grand Slam titles, one behind Margaret Court for most all-time. She could potentially get to 24 and tie Court at the US Open.
“There are people who say I’m not the (greatest of all time) GOAT because I didn’t pass Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam titles, which she achieved before the ‘open era’ that began in 1968,” Williams said. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want that record. Obviously I do. But day to day, I’m really not thinking about her.”
She also won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles with her sister Venus, who continues to play at the age of 42. She also has won four Olympic gold medals.