“I just needed to stop… I feel like if I want to come back, I definitely can still come back.” Serena Williams
The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion delves into her reasons for hanging up her racquets at the age of 40
American tennis legend Serena Williams, whose US Open appearance is expected to be her final singles tournament, said she always wanted to go out on top of the game but did not rule completely rule out the possibility of competing again while speaking on the A+E Networks and the History Channel’s “History Talks” series held in Washington, DC.
Williams, who turned 41 years old earlier this week, was part of the interview along with her sister Venus Williams and actor Bradley Cooper.
After being away from the game for a year, the American played Wimbledon and two lead-up events into the US Open where she reached the third round in a dramatic first week before bowing out to Ajla Tomljanovic in a classic three-set match.
Serena as a “super hands-on mom”
“I just needed to stop,” the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion said as quoted by Vanity Fair. “I always said I wanted to stop when I’m playing really good tennis and winning and beating good players. For me, it’s really about things I want to do spiritually and spending time with my daughter and family. As a super hands-on mom, I can’t tell you how hard it was.
“I lost so many matches after I had Olympia because it was so hard to be on the court. I feel like I’ve given so much of my life to tennis, my entire life, that it’s time to do something different for me and also work on other things.”
And while she did welcome fellow GOAT Roger Federer to the retirement club in a social media post last week, Serena Willliams did not completely rule out a comeback at some point in the future. “I feel like if I want to come back, I definitely can still come back.”
While Serena has said she is evolving from tennis, sister Venus Williams, who turned 42 in June, has not made any announcements or statements about her own retirement. And when asked how she felt about being responsible for changing the sport, the elder Williams said she is not done just yet.
“For me, I want to do more.” Venus Williams said, “You want to be better every moment. It’s never enough. If it was perfect, it still wasn’t perfect enough.”