Home / Sportscope / ‘Countdown’ to retirement started – Serena

‘Countdown’ to retirement started – Serena

Serena Williams of the United States serves against Nuria Parrizas Diaz of Spain during the National Bank Open, part of the Hologic WTA Tour, at Sobeys Stadium in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022 (August 9 in Manila). AFP PHOTO
Serena Williams of the United States serves against Nuria Parrizas Diaz of Spain during the National Bank Open, part of the Hologic WTA Tour, at Sobeys Stadium in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022 (August 9 in Manila). AFP PHOTO 

TORONTO: Serena Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion and iconic tennis superstar for a generation, said Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) that “the countdown has begun” to her retirement from the sport.

The 40-year-old American wrote a cover essay for Vogue magazine and an Instagram post in which she set the stage for “evolving away from tennis.”

“There comes a time in life when we have to decide to move in a different direction,” she said on Instagram. “That time is always hard when you love something so much. My goodness, do I enjoy tennis.

“But now, the countdown has begun. I have to focus on being a mom, my spiritual goals and finally discovering a different, but just [as] exciting Serena. I’m gonna relish these next few weeks.”

After suffering a torn right hamstring at Wimbledon last year, Williams was sidelined until playing doubles at Eastbourne in June and made a return at Wimbledon as a wild card, losing in the first round.

On Monday, Williams competed in her first hard court match in 18 months, defeating Spain’s Nuria Parrizas Diaz to reach the second round of the Women’s Tennis Association hard court event in Toronto, a tuneup for the US Open.

It was her first singles victory since the 2021 French Open, 14 months ago.

Williams is set to play next week at Cincinnati and compete at the US Open, where she won her first Grand Slam title in 1999 at age 17.

“I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me,” Williams wrote in Vogue. “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.

“Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready to win Wimbledon this year. And I don’t know if I will be ready to win New York. But I’m going to try.”

Williams won the most recent of her 23 Slams at the 2017 Australian Open when she was already pregnant with daughter Olympia.

‘Terrible at goodbyes’

She remains one shy of the all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles won by Margaret Court, having dropped her past four Grand Slam finals at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2018 and 2019.

“I’m not looking for some ceremonial, final on-court moment,” Williams wrote in Vogue. “I’m terrible at goodbyes, the world’s worst.”

Williams has won seven Wimbledon and Australian Open titles, six US Opens and three French Open crowns as well as the 2012 London Olympic singles gold medal and three more golds in doubles.

Fellow US tennis legend John McEnroe compared Williams to all-time NFL and NBA sports heroes.

“She’s like an icon. Her place in American society has just gone to a place where she deserves it after everything she has accomplished,” McEnroe told USA Today.

She completed two “Serena Slam” sweeps of four consecutive majors, runs that began at the 2002 French Open and 2014 US Open, and ended when she was upset in the 2015 US Open semifinals by Italy’s Roberta Vinci while going for a calendar-year Slam.

She has evolved into business interests but also wants to have another child.

*****
Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

Check Also

UAAP Season 85 to feature new coaches’ challenge system

UAAP Season 85 is set to feature a new coaches’ challenge system for its upcoming …