Serena Williams will retire from tennis after the upcoming U.S. Open, the legendary athlete announced in a Vogue article published Tuesday.
"It's the hardest thing that I could ever imagine. I hate it. I hate that I have to be at this crossroads," said Williams, almost 41, as told to Vogue's Rob Haskell. "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."
Williams notes that she never liked the word "retirement," and prefers to think of herself as "evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me," like giving her daughter Olympia a sister. "[T]hese days, if I have to choose between building my tennis résumé and building my family, I choose the latter."
With over $100 million in prize money and 23 Grand Slam titles under her belt, Williams is widely considered one of the best athletes of all time. Her influence has since grown far beyond tennis, into areas like fashion, entertainment, and business, notes The New York Times.
The King Richard subject concluded the Vogue piece by thanking her fans — "[P]lease know that I am more grateful for you than I can ever express in words." "I'm going to miss that version of me," she went on, "that girl who played tennis. And I'm going to miss you."