Williams serves for the last time



Legend tennis player Serena Williams retires from professional tennis tour leaving a forever impact on the sport. https://unsplash.com/license

Emma Makin

Serena Williams is known to fans worldwide as a daughter, tennis player, wife, mother, model, writer and hero. In the September 2022 issue of Vogue, Williams announced her “retirement” in her own way.

“I have never liked the word ‘retirement,’” 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.”

Over the span of her 20-plus year career, she has garnered 73 singles titles and 23 doubles titles. Many hail Williams as one of the greatest athletes of all time and the best tennis player in history.

Apparel giant Nike, who is partnered with the tennis star said, “Serena Williams redefined what it means to be a true champion. Her legacy transcends sport and has inspired generations.”

Williams went out with a leg injury during her first-round matchup in Wimbledon 2021 when she slipped on slick grass. It left many to wonder if she could ever return to a major event again.

Williams said the injury gave her “a tremendous amount of motivation.” After a year of healing and rest, she made her return at the All England Club. She never said that it would be her last appearance at the club.

Former No. 1, Williams, was ranked outside the Women’s Tennis Association’s (WTA) top 1,200 and allowed into the Wimbledon field via a wild-card, as she was vying for her 24th grand slam title.

It was hardly her first comeback after having operations, health problems and a baby.

“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. And the lead-up tournaments will be fun,” Williams said as she prepared for the US Open.

As Williams took the court on Monday, Aug. 29, the opening night of the US Open, she picked up right where she left off. She turned what was going to be a ceremonial goodbye match against Danka Kovinić into a top-level game, and again in the second round against Anett Kontaveit. She proved she could still play with the best after playing five matches in 14 months.

After winning two back-to-back matches, Williams took the court with her sister, Venus Williams, to take on Lucie Hradecka and Linda Noskova in a women’s doubles match on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. The Williams sisters were defeated, but they got to make history for what is said to be their last time together, as it was the first doubles first-round match to be held at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

That Friday, Williams faced off against Ajla Tomljanovi, who ultimately ended her inspirational run at the US Open.

In what is considered Williams’ final appearance at the Grand Slam event, she followed her teary-eyed loss with a heartfelt thank you and goodbye.

“It all started with my parents and they deserved everything. So, I’m really grateful for them,” Williams shared as she went on to thank her sister. “And I wouldn’t be Serena if there wasn’t Venus. So thank you Venus. She’s the only reason Serena Williams ever existed. It’s been a fun ride. It’s been the most incredible ride and journey I’ve ever been on, I mean, in my life. I’m just so grateful to every single person that’s ever said, ‘Go, Serena,’ in their life. I’m just so grateful,” she added as she ended her speech holding back tears.

Williams has been vague about the actual word “retirement,” but many believe it is because she is exploring a new Serena with her family. “I’m going to stay vague because you never know,” she said in a post-match interview.

186 consecutive weeks at No.1, four Olympic gold medals, 23-time major champion, 367 major match wins, 6 US Open titles and 73 career titles.

Her friend and rival, Naomi Osaka, in a Time interview said it perfectly: “Serena is unequivocally the best athlete ever. Forget female athlete, I mean athlete. No one else has changed her sport as much as she did and