by A.R. Shaw
Serena Williams walked away from the game of tennis on Sept. 2. After a grueling three-hour battle against Ajla Tomljanović at the U.S. Open, Williams lost in what is likely her last tennis match.
Following the match, Williams addressed a capacity crowd at the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, New York. by thanking her parents and sister, Venus Williams.
“It all started with my parents, and they deserve everything. I wouldn’t be Serena if there wasn’t Venus. So thank you Venus,” Williams said.
Several weeks ago, Williams, 40, shared that she will “evolve away from tennis” to focus on other things.
Serena Williams, along with her older sister Venus Williams, took the tennis world by storm in the 1990s as teenagers on the pro tennis circuit. Serena would win her first grand slam title in 1998 at Wimbledon, capturing the mixed doubles title. Over the next 20 years, Serena would dominate the sport, capturing 23 grand slam titles.
The most decorated tennis player in history, Serena could arguably be considered the greatest athlete of all-time. She’s often mentioned alongside greats such as Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali.
The debates are likely to continue as Serena steps away from sports. However, she is prepared to enter a new phase of life.
“There comes a time in life when we have to decide to move in a different direction,” Williams posted on her Instagram page. “I’m terrible at goodbyes. That time is always hard when you love something so much. My goodness, do I enjoy tennis. But now, the countdown has begun. I have to focus on being a mom, my spiritual goals, and finally discovering a different, but just as exciting Serena. I’m gonna relish these next few weeks.”