Serena Williams is moving on from the sport she’s dominated for decades — the superstar just announced she’s “evolving away” from tennis after the U.S. Open.

The 40-year-old shared the news in an essay with Vogue last Tuesday, saying it’s time to move on and focus on other challenges like raising a family and business ventures off the court. 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.”

She continued, “I’m going to miss that version of me, that girl who played tennis. And I’m going to miss you.” Serena currently has 23 individual Grand Slams and 14 in doubles alongside her sister, Venus. She won her most recent singles title while two months pregnant in 2017.

Serena is one of the greatest ever to do it and has forever changed the sport of tennis since making her debut in 1995. In fact, she is the highest-earning female athlete of all time and was ranked 31st on Forbes’ list of top earnings among all pros in 2022 with $45.3 million.

Her off-court ventures have proven to be just as successful. In 2009, Serena and Venus became minority owners of the Miami Dolphins, making them the first black women to hold any ownership of an NFL team. Serena is also one of the owners of the Angel City FC soccer team. Earlier this year, she committed millions in hopes of helping a big do buy Chelsea FC in London.

Recently, Williams started Serena Ventures, which raised $111 million in outside funding this year.

 

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A movie about the Williams sisters’ upbringing, “King Richard,” was released in 2021 to positive reviews and earned Will Smith an Oscar for his portrayal of their father, Richard. Both sisters were executive producers for the film.

Serena, who gave birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., in 2017, is married to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and says she would like to have more children. She wishes she had more time to bid farewell to the sport, but with her goal of expanding her family, she doesn’t have a lot of time left.

She added, “Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family. I don’t think it’s fair. If I were a guy, I wouldn’t be writing this because I’d be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labor of expanding our family. Maybe I’d be more of a Tom Brady if I had that opportunity.”

The U.S. Open kicks off at the end of the month and will indeed be the end of an era. Serena Williams will go down in history as the greatest athlete ever. However, she realizes there are more important things than her accomplishments in sports. Her Vogue essay revealed that she often hears her daughter praying to Jehovah for a little sister. While it’s not fair that she has to choose between her family and sport, she’s making the right decision.

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