Serena Williams is moving on to a new chapter in her life. The tennis legend wrote an article for Vogue announcing her retirement from the sport following the US Open at the end of August. Williams said she will then focus her attention on "other things that are important" to her, including her venture capital firm and her family.
"I have never liked the word retirement," Williams wrote. "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 went on to say that she has been "reluctant to admit" that she had to retire from tennis. She then added that the "can't even have this conversation with my mom and dad," and the only person she really talked about retirement with is her therapist. Williams knows it's time for her to retire but admits this was a difficult decision.
"There is no happiness in this topic for me," Williams explained. "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. I don't know how I'm going to be able to look at this magazine when it comes out, knowing that this is it, the end of a story that started in Compton, California, with a little Black girl who just wanted to play tennis. This sport has given me so much. I love to win. I love the battle. I love to entertain."
Williams is one of the most accomplished athletes in history. She has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any tennis player in the open era, and the second-most all time. Williams has also won 14 doubles Grand Slam titles with her sister Venus Williams and won four gold medals at the Summer Olympics.