"There is a time in life when you have to decide to take a new path. It's always a difficult moment when you love what you do so much. And God knows I love tennis. But now the count countdown is on", explains the 40-year-old American on her Instagram account and in an interview with Vogue magazine.
"I want to focus on my role as a mom, my goals on a spiritual level, to discover a new but equally exciting Serena", she adds, saying she wants to "savor the next few weeks".
"I don't want to be pregnant anymore while being an athlete. I have to choose between having both feet in tennis or outside of it. I'm going to be 41, so I have choices to make," Serena also says. She plans to have a second child after her complicated pregnancy to give birth to Olympia in 2017.
"I never liked the word retirement. I don't feel like it's a modern word," Serena tells Vogue. "I think of it as a transition and I want to use that word appropriately because it's a very specific and important word for a lot of people."
"Maybe what I want to describe is an evolution. I'm evolving away from tennis, towards other things that are important to me", she adds, also referring to his return to the courts this year.
"Unfortunately, I was not ready to win Wimbledon this year. And I don't know if I will be ready to win in New York. But I will try," she said.
- "No goodbye" -
The former world No.1 does not indicate when she will retire but the US Open, which she has won six times and where she is still on the entry list this year, seems to be the right place. for goodbyes.
The American, who will celebrate her 41st birthday on September 26, won with courage against the Spaniard Nuria Parrizas (N.57) in two sets (6-3, 6-4), winning her first success since more than a year.
His last singles victory on the WTA circuit dates back to June 4, 2021, during a victorious 3rd round at Roland-Garros, a few weeks before forfeiting the first round of Wimbledon due to a leg injury.
She was then absent for almost a year, only making her return to singles at the end of June at Wimbledon... where she was beaten by Frenchwoman Harmony Tan.
Seven times crowned in singles on the London turf and former undisputed world No.1, Serena Williams has now fallen to 407th place in the world.
Her last Grand Slam title dates back more than five years, at the 2017 Australian Open. Since then, she has been running in vain behind a 24th title that would allow her to equal Margaret Court's record.
"I know there's a fan fantasy that I could have equaled Margaret 'this year at Wimbledon' and then maybe beat her record in New York and then at the trophy ceremony, say A more I understand, it's a beautiful dream! But I'm not looking for a ceremony, or a last moment on the pitch. I'm bad at goodbyes, the worst in the world, "she says willingly.
While waiting for her to make her decision and announce it, in New York or later, elsewhere, her next appearance on the courts is scheduled for Wednesday in Toronto to try to win a place in the round of 16 against Belinda Bencic or Tereza Matincova.
It's almost the end of the Williams saga, Serena has decided it. "In a few years, I hope people will think of me as someone who symbolized something bigger than tennis."