Serena Williams
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Serena Williams says she’ll soon retire from Tennis

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Grand Slam 23-time winner Serena Williams announced on Tuesday that “the countdown has begun” to her retirement from tennis.

“There comes a time in life when we have to decide to move in a different direction,” the 23-time Grand Slam winner said in a post on Instagram.

“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 a Vogue article on Tuesday. “It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. 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.

“A few years ago I quietly started Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm. Soon after that, I started a family. I want to grow that family.”

Explaining her decision to move away from the sport, Williams said she didn’t want to choose between her career and having more children, but at nearly 41 “something had to give”.

“I don’t think it’s fair,” Williams said. “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 labour of expanding our family. Maybe I’d be more of a Tom Brady if I had that opportunity.”

Williams announced herself on the big stage by winning the 1999 US Open, a tournament she would go on to claim five more times.

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