Serena Williams has played down the idea that she has “retired” from tennis after playing the final match of her career at the recent US Open. The 73-time title winner announced that she would be “evolving away” from the sport in an essay for Vogue magazine and has refused to use the word retirement, also hinting at the chance of a comeback just ten days after her last match.
Williams played the final tournament of her career at the recent US Open, making it to the third round before taking her final bow following a three-set battle with Ajla Tomljanovic. The 23-time Major champion had announced that she would be “evolving away from tennis” in an essay for Vogue that was published during the Canadian Open, saying goodbye at her home Grand Slam tournament.
The former world No 1 was careful not to label her decision a “retirement”, and has now played down the idea that she has fully retired during an interview with Jimmy Fallon. “I think retirement is something that is super earned and that people work really hard for,” she told the talk show host on Tuesday, appearing on his show ten days after her final match.
“I feel like I’m at an age where I definitely have a lot more to give and there’s a lot more that I want to do so I’m not going to be relaxing, there’s so much more for me.” And Williams has already shown that she’s nowhere near stopping in the days after ending her tennis career, as she hosted a show for her Serena brand during New York Fashion Week.
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“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 wrote. “Maybe I’d be more of a Tom Brady if I had that opportunity.”
It remains to be seen whether Williams does go back on her decision and make a return to competition, but she has been hinting at it since the last point of her match against Tomljanovic. During her on-court interview, she was asked about a comeback and said: “I’m literally playing my way into this and getting better. I should have started sooner this year! I don’t think so, but you never know. I don’t know.”