American legend Serena Williams, winner of 23 Grand Slam titles, announced her retirement from tennis on Tuesday, saying she is “evolving away” from the sport.
The 40-year-old tennis star said that the best word to describe what she is up to is “evolution” and that she wants to grow her family.
“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,” Serena said in an article for Vogue magazine.
Earlier this year, she was knocked out at Wimbledon in her first singles match. However, she has now set her eyes on the US Open in what could prove her farewell tournament.
“Unfortunately I wasn’t ready to win Wimbledon this year. And I don’t know if I will be ready to win New York. But I’m going to try. And the lead-up tournaments will be fun,” she said in the Vogue interview.
She has been ranked singles world number one by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) for 319 weeks, including a joint-record 186 consecutive weeks.
She also finished as the year-end number one five times. German tennis icon Steffi Graf had won 22 Grand Slam singles titles in her glittering career.
Serena has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any player in the open era, and the second-most of all time, only behind Margaret Court’s 24.
She will turn 41 next month and has decided to shift her focus to the family after the US Open this year.