American Tennis star Serena Williams has announced her retirement from professional tennis. Williams made her announcement in a first-person article published in Vogue. She has won a record 23 Grand Slam singles titles and is hanging her boot from tennis after a 27-year professional career.
"I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me," Williams wrote. "I’ve been thinking of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people. Maybe 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."
Williams also addressed that she wants to enter the next chapter of her life, where she wants to focus on growing her family and venture capital firm. Still, she expressed that she feels pain in leaving tennis.
"There is no happiness in this topic for me. I know it’s not the usual thing to say, but I feel a great deal of pain," Williams wrote. "It’s the hardest thing that I could ever imagine. I hate it. I hate that I have to be at this crossroads. I keep saying to myself, I wish it could be easy for me, but it’s not. I’m torn: I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next."
The 40-year-old won a total of 39 Grand Slams out 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 for all four Grand Slams on two different occasions in 2003 and 2015.
Serena Williams, born in Saginaw, Michigan, started her pro career in October 1995 at 14 years old. She registered some key upsets over the next few years, including wins against Lindsay Davenport and Monica Seles. But it took her four years to break out in 1999 as she win five WTA singles matches, including her first Grand Slam at the U.S. Open. Ever since then, Serena has turned into one of the most dominant players in the history of tennis.