The US Open will be Serena Williams’ final tournament.
Williams announced she was “evolving away from tennis” in a Vogue magazine article that was published on Tuesday morning.
“I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me,” Williams wrote. “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.”
Williams, who won her first match in over a year on Monday at the National Open in Toronto, confirmed that she would play at the US Open in Flushing Meadows at the end of the month. That will be her last grand slam event.
Williams, 40, has won 23 grand slam titles — the most in the Open Era and one short of Margaret Court’s all-time record.
“Unfortunately I wasn’t ready to win Wimbledon this year,” wrote Williams, who lost to Harmony Tan in the first round of the All England Club.
“And I don’t know if I will be ready to win New York. But I’m going to try. And the lead-up tournaments will be fun. I know there’s a fan fantasy that I might have tied Margaret that day in London, then maybe beat her record in New York, and then at the trophy ceremony say, ‘See ya!’ I get that. It’s a good fantasy. But I’m not looking for some ceremonial, final on-court moment. 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. I’m going to miss that version of me, that girl who played tennis. And I’m going to miss you.”
Williams lamented in the Vogue piece that she has to choose between a family and a career.
“Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family,” Williams wrote. “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.”
Williams is playing this week in Toronto, at a hard-court tournament that leads into the U.S. Open. That is the year’s last Grand Slam event and one she has won six times, most recently in 2014, to go along with seven titles apiece at Wimbledon and the Australian Open, plus three at the French Open.
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She also owns 14 Grand Slam doubles championships, all won with her older sister, Venus, part of a remarkable tale of two siblings from Compton, California, who grew up to both be ranked No. 1, win dozens of trophies and dominate tennis for stretches — a story told in the Oscar-winning film “King Richard.”
A victory Monday in Toronto was Williams’ first tour win in a singles match in more than a year.
— With AP
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