NEW YORK ( Associated Press) – Serena Williams says she is ready to quit tennis after winning 23 Grand Slams, having another child and running her own business.
“I’m turning 41 this month and there are a few things left,” Williams wrote in an article distributed Tuesday by Vogue magazine.
Williams said she doesn’t like the word retirement and prefers to think that she is at a stage in her life where she is “taking a step back from tennis to pursue other things that are important to me.”
Williams is attending hard court tournaments in Toronto in preparation for the US Open, the last major tournament of the year, which begins in New York on August 29.
The American won more Grand Slam tournaments than any other player in the professional era. Margaret Court added 24, but many of them in the amateur era.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want that record. Obviously, I want it. But on a day-to-day basis, I don’t really think about it. If I’m in a Grand Slam final, then yes, I think about the record,” he said. “Maybe I thought about it too much and it didn’t help. The way I look at things, he should have more than 30 Grand Slams.”
Despite that, he added that, “These days, if I have to choose between focusing on tennis or focusing on my family, I choose the latter.”
Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, have a daughter, Olympia, who turns five on September 1.
“Trust me, I never wanted to choose between tennis and family. I don’t think it’s fair,” said the tennis player, who was pregnant when she won the 2017 Australian Open, her last Grand Slam. “If I were a man, I wouldn’t write this, I would play and win while my wife does physical work to expand our family.”
Williams was out of tennis for a year after suffering a first-round injury at Wimbledon in 2021. She returned to competition at Wimbledon this June and lost in the first round.
After that defeat, he was asked if he would compete again.
“That’s something I can’t answer,” she said. “I don’t know. Who knows what I’ll do?”
Williams has indicated in her Vogue article that the US Open will be her last tournament, but does not say it explicitly.
“I’m not looking for a formal farewell on the field,” he said. “I’m so bad with goodbyes, the worst in the world.”