In an exclusive interview with Vogue, Serena Williams announced her retirement from tennis today (Aug. 9). The decorated professional athlete, who has earned over $94 million throughout her career, has 73 career singles titles and 23 career doubles titles.
“I have never liked the word retirement,” Williams said in the article. “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,” she explained. The star athlete, who turns 41 years old next month, is married to entrepreneur and investor Alexis Ohanian. Together they share a daughter, 4-year-old Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.
Williams shared, “There are people who say I’m not the GOAT because I didn’t pass Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam titles, which she achieved before the ‘open era’ that began in 1968.” She added, “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want that record.” As the interview went on, the champion discussed how family life impacted her decision: “I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family. I don’t think it’s fair. If I were a guy, I wouldn’t be writing this because I’d be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labor of expanding our family.”
The tennis icon has been lining up her business ventures ahead of her retirement. Williams recently partnered with Cash App for the “That’s Money” campaign. “I am a huge proponent of financial independence, education and accessibility. I want to use my platform to raise awareness around the opportunities money management tools like Cash App have to offer, so working together was a no-brainer,” she said in a release.
Williams’ final match will be in the U.S. Open, which is set for later this month and runs until September.