Serena Williams Wimbledon

Serena Williams confirms imminent retirement, saying: ‘It’s time to move on’

Serena Williams has confirmed she plans to retire from tennis after the US Open this year.

The 23-time major winner is 40-years-old now, and she has spent the last year mostly away from tennis.

She did make a return at Wimbledon recently, although that comeback only lasted one match. After that defeat to Harmony Tan, Serena said she wanted to play the US Open too, and planned on preparing for it much more so than she did Wimbledon.

That has seen her enter Toronto, where she picked up her first win in more than 12 months, and she will play other US Open series tournaments too.

However, after that, she will ‘transition’ away form tennis, and hopes to have another child too.

“There comes a time in life when we have to decide to move in a different direction,” Serena Williams said on Instagram while promoting the new edition of Vogue, of which she is the cover star.

“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 exciting Serena. I’m gonna relish these next few weeks.”

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

Serena Williams US open 2018

“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.

“I’ve been reluctant to admit that I have to move on from playing tennis. It’s like a taboo topic. It comes up, and I start to cry. I think the only person I’ve really gone there with is my therapist.”


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Serena Williams did not look physically ready for Wimbledon at all, as was expected. She only played one lead-up tournament for it, and that was in doubles with Ons Jabeur.

She, though, hopes to make a much bigger impression at the US Open.

“Unfortunately I wasn’t ready to win Wimbledon this year,” she added in the article. “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.”

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.