The real reason Serena Williams is retiring from tennis

Serena Williams

It’s always hard to say goodbye to our heroes, especially the ones who have had the kind of impact Serena Williams has.

Throughout Serena’s extensive career in professional tennis, she challenged every stereotype, broke every glass ceiling, and fought for women (especially black women) to have access to the opportunities the rest of the world gets.

Now, at 41, she announced that she will be retiring from tennis. She does so with no regrets, having become one of the greatest players of all time. Here’s why she’s stepping away.

It’s nice to know that Serena Williams’ decision to step away from the world of tennis is a purely personal one. There were no injuries or tragedies pushing her towards early retirement. It was simply her desire to focus on other things. Well, hers and her daughter Olympia’s. Serena shared how much her daughter wanted to be a big sister, and the tennis player wished for Olympia to experience the support that siblings offer and that she was fortunate to have. So, she decided to step away from tennis and dedicate herself to expanding her family.

I have never liked the word retirement,” she admitted. “The best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution. I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me. A few years ago I quietly started Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm. Soon after that, I started a family. I want to grow that family.” She also said that she wished she didn’t have to choose between the two, but that since she has to, right now focusing on her family is what she wants.

Serena Made The Choice Some Time Ago But Didn’t Dare To Say It

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To say that this is a big change in Serena’s life would be the understatement of the year. Her whole life will likely turn upside down, and no matter how sure she is of her choice, it will be a painful and intense transition. She said it took her a long time to even be able to say it out loud, but she had made the decision long before she wrote her moving Vogue essay.

“I’ve been reluctant to admit to myself or anyone else that I have to move on from playing tennis. Alexis, my husband, and I have hardly talked about it; it’s like a taboo topic. I can’t even have this conversation with my mom and dad. It’s like it’s not real until you say it out loud. It comes up, I get an uncomfortable lump in my throat, and I start to cry. The only person I’ve really gone there with is my therapist!”

As hard as this must be, Serena is excited about this new chapter of her life. The best is yet to come.