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Serena Williams Has Announced Her Retirement From Tennis With A Powerful Statement

"If I were a guy, I wouldn't be writing this."

Serena Williams, one of the greatest tennis players in history, will retire from the sport. The 23-time Grand Slam winner announced on Tuesday that the “countdown” has begun until she makes her final serve on centre court. 

“There comes a time in life when we have to decide to move in a different direction,” she shared in a statement on Instagram.

“That time is always hard when you love something so much. My goodness do I enjoy tennis. But now, the countdown has begun.” 

The 40-year-old said she wanted to focus her energy on raising her daughter, Alexis Olympia, among other things.

“I have to focus on being a mom, my spiritual goals and finally discovering a different, but just exciting Serena. I’m gonna relish these next few weeks.”

(Credit: Getty)

Williams penned an essay for Vogue about her decision to retire and the pitfalls that come with being a woman in any professional field. 

“Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family. I don’t think it’s fair,” she wrote.

“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.

“Don’t get me wrong: I love being a woman, and I loved every second of being pregnant with Olympia. I was one of those annoying women who adored being pregnant and was working until the day I had to report to the hospital—although things got super complicated on the other side,” she continued. 

“And I almost did do the impossible: A lot of people don’t realise that I was two months pregnant when I won the Australian Open in 2017. But I’m turning 41 this month, and something’s got to give.”

(Credit: Getty)

Williams added that she and her husband, Alexis Ohanian, are trying for a second child, which is a key reason why she is stepping back now. 

“I definitely don’t want to be pregnant again as an athlete. I need to be two feet into tennis or two feet out.” 

It’s understood Williams will step back from tennis after she competes in the US Open championships in late August. 

Williams has won the tournament six times, among her numerous other Grand Slam titles. But win or no win, the historic athlete has made many powerful statements over her decades-long career. 

Williams was front and centre of headlines at the 2018 Rolland Garros when she stepped out in a catsuit, which led to the super-hero design being completely banned from future tournaments. T

he decision sparked widespread outrage given Williams, who had recently given birth to her daughter, had been wearing the design in part for health reasons and to also inspire other mothers—the tennis star had a history of blood clots and developed one after giving birth to her daughter via C-section.

She dedicated the catsuit to every mum “that had a tough pregnancy”. 

Of course, Williams has spent her career not only enjoying success, but empowering millions of other women to believe in themselves. We’ll certainly miss her talents on the court, but there’s no doubt this won’t be the last we see of her. 

(Credit: Getty)

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