The world went oh wao! today as tennis icon, Serena Williams retires from the game she dominated for over two decades. She is hanging her tennis racket for good after the US Open to pursue motherhood and her business interests.
The 40 year-old wonder woman pulled a surprise when she gave age and motherhood as reasons for calling it quits
She announce her decision in an article published in the Vogue magazine’s website.
“I’m going to miss that version of me, that girl who played tennis,” she wrote. “I’m turning 41 this month, and something’s got to give.”
Serena Williams has 23 Grand Slam singles titles under her belt, an Open Era record for women or men.
Only the Australian Margaret Court surpassed her in history with twenty-four titles, just one title more than hers.
She is also the only athlete that competed in recent times at her age. In recent times, this has affected her stamina and ranking.
She will enter the two-week US Open tournament with a protected ranking of No. 16
Fittingly, she ends the game at the US Open arena where she won her first grand slam title in 1999. She was only seventeen at the time and this meant the whole world to her.
Winning the US Open was her career ambition, a goal that she surpassed after the first win.
“I started playing tennis with the goal of winning the U.S. Open,” she said. “I didn’t think past that. And then I just kept winning.”
Yes she did, and in grand style too. In her career, she erased the records of all modern greats in the game. Martina Hingis. Monica Seles. Her sister Venus. Then she targeted and gradually surpassed the legends – Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, and Martina Navratilova.
She praised these legends, not only for their skills but also for their defining battles for gender equality.
She also wrote about her growing business interests and the inspiration she draws from powerful women CEOs.
Serena specifically mentioned Facebook’s former CEO Sheryl Sandberg and Caryn Seidman-Becker, CEO of security company, Clear Secure.
Her interest in business is motivated by a desire to finance startups led by women and people of color.
“I wrote one of the very first checks for MasterClass,” she said. “It’s one of 16 unicorns — companies valued at more than $1 billion — that Serena Ventures has funded, along with Tonal, Impossible Foods, Noom, and Esusu, to name a few.”
The world is still in the oh wao mood from this announcement. Who would have thought that Serena will ever quit the game.
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Serena retires from tennis