American tennis legend Serena Williams announced on Tuesday that the “countdown has begun” to her retirement from the game.
“There comes a point in life when we have to decide to move in a different direction,” the 40-year-old wrote in a post on her Instagram account.
She added, “It’s always hard when you love something so much. My God, I like tennis. But now the countdown has begun.”
“I have to focus on motherhood, my spiritual goals and finally discover a different but excited Serena. I’ll enjoy the next few weeks.”
On Monday, Williams achieved her first women’s singles victory since early summer 2021, defeating Spain’s Nuria Brisas Diaz 6-3, 6-4 in the IAAF opening round in Toronto.
Williams, who will celebrate her 41st birthday next month, has only played her second singles match this year and her first hard court match in 18 months, especially since the 2021 Australian Open.
Williams won her last major title in Australia in 2017 when she was pregnant with daughter Olympia and has since failed to beat Australian Margaret Court’s record of 24 major titles after losing four major championship finals.
The American veteran will try to achieve this and defy expectations at the last chance, perhaps at the US Open later this month.