Serena Williams announces in poignant essay that she’s retiring from tennis

By Taylor Johnson
Aug. 9, 2022, 9:55 A.M.

(Bloomberg) —

Serena Williams is reluctantly retiring from professional tennis so she can focus on growing her family. 

The 23-time Grand Slam champion explained her decision in a cover story in Vogue magazine, published Tuesday. She says 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 labor of expanding our family. Maybe I’d be more of a Tom Brady if I had that opportunity.”

Williams will also focus on her venture capital firm, Serena Ventures, which primarily invests in businesses started by women and people of color. Nike, a major Williams sponsor, didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment. 

A 2019 study by Pew Research Center found that 54% of working mothers said they needed to reduce their working hours because of their family life, compared to 44% of fathers. 

“I definitely don’t want to be pregnant again as an athlete,” Williams said. “I need to be two feet into tennis or two feet out.”

To contact the author of this story:
Taylor Johnson in New York at

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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