Serena Williams speaks out about motherhood as she announces tennis retirement
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Featured Image Credit: Leo Mason sports / Alamy Stock Photo/ @serenawilliams / Instagram
The 40-year-old shocked the world by bidding farewell to the sport she has dedicated her life to in a piece she wrote for Vogue.
Williams plans to hang up her racket once she has finished competing in the Canadian Open and the US Open later this year.
After overhearing her four-year-old daughter Olympia, who is an only child, express her wish to become an older sister one day, Serena began to consider leaving tennis.
The four-time Olympic gold medallist explained that if she had 'to choose between building my tennis résumé and building my family, I choose the latter'.
Williams said she visited her doctor, who told she and her husband Alexis Ohanian can try and grow their family whenever they are ready.
This time around Williams doesn’t want to be playing professionally when she’s pregnant, unlike her first pregnancy during which she won the Australian Open in 2017.
The sports icon also touched on having to choose between her career and growing her family, which she says a man would not have to do if he was in her position.
“Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family,” she wrote.
“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 labour of expanding our family.”
She admitted to not liking the word ‘retirement’ and instead opted for ‘evolution’.
“I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me,” she explained. “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."
Williams grew up with her family in Compton, California and she is the youngest of five daughters.
She began playing tennis at the age of four and her father, Richard Williams, home-schooled and coached her alongside her sister Venus Williams, who is also regarded as one of the all-time greats of the sport.
Serena married Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit, in November 2017 after they got engaged the previous year.
In April 2017, when she announced her pregnancy with a picture on Snapchat captioned ’20 weeks’, people were shocked to realise Serena was eight weeks pregnant when she won the Australian Open earlier that year.
She gave birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr in September 2017.