American tennis star Serena Williams has announced her retirement from professional tennis. Williams made his announcement in a first-person article published in Vogue. He has won a record 23 Grand Slam singles titles and is hanging up his tennis boot after a 27-year professional career.
“I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word,” Williams wrote. “I’ve been thinking about this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use this word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people. Perhaps the best word to describe what I’m doing is evolution. I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, towards other things that are important to me.”
Williams also said he wants to enter the next chapter of his life, where he wants to focus on growing his family and venture capital firm. Even so, he expressed that he feels pain in leaving tennis.
“There is no happiness in this matter for me. I know it’s not what you usually say, but I feel a lot of pain,” Williams wrote. “It’s the hardest thing I can ever imagine. I hate it. I hate being at this crossroads. I keep telling myself: I wish it was easy, but it’s not. I’m broken: I don’t want it to be “it’s over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s to come.”
The 40-year-old won a total of 39 Grand Slams of which 14 are women’s doubles championships with her sister, Venus. Williams also has two more mixed doubles titles with Max Mirnyi. She was also the defending champion of the four Grand Slams on two separate occasions in 2003 and 2015.
Serena Williams, born in Saginaw, Michigan, began her professional career in October 1995 at the age of 14. She recorded some key upsets over the next few years, including wins against Lindsay Davenport and Monica Seles. But it took four years for her to break out in 1999 as she won five WTA singles matches, including her first Grand Slam at the US Open. Since then, Serena has become one of the most dominant players in tennis history.