Watching Serena Williams compete is enough to convince anyone that she was born to be extraordinary. The tennis player has a highly decorated career that has lasted years, but now the 40-year-old is ready to set down her racket.
Williams recently announced her retirement, saying she “doesn’t think it’s fair” she has to choose between tennis and a family, but “something’s got to give.”
Serena Williams is retiring from tennis
Williams is one of the greats when it comes to the sport of tennis. With 23 Grand Slam wins and four gold medal Olympic wins, the athlete is the second most decorated female tennis player, second to Margaret Court (24 Grand Slams).
Williams is a beast on the court and seems to have the whole parenting thing on lock. However, like many career women, there is a strong pull between her two worlds, and recently the star has found it hard to find the perfect balance.
The tennis icon teased her retirement in 2018 when she gave birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. In 2022, Williams officially announced her retirement from the tennis world through Vogue. The star graced Vogue’s September 2022 cover, covering broad topics from her personal life to her career.
Perhaps the biggest shocker was Williams’s revelation that she was leaving her iconic career behind to focus on being a mom. In the bittersweet interview, Williams clarified that she didn’t think it was fair to have to choose between parenting and her career.
Williams reasoned that if she were a male athlete like Tom Brady, she wouldn’t have had to choose because she’d “be out there playing and winning, while my wife was doing the physical labor of expanding our family.”
She shared that the decision was a long time coming, saying that every time she had to confront the topic of retirement, she’d start crying. But turning 41 meant “something’s got to give.”
Serena Williams will also focus on her business endeavors
Williams might be saying goodbye to tennis, but she isn’t done making an impact in the world. Now that she will no longer be on the court, the star plans to make her mark by helping women in business. Williams told Vogue she doesn’t consider it retirement but more of an evolution.
She said she quietly started a venture capital firm a few years back called Serena Ventures. The star shared that she began “slowly shifting toward” the VC company and always gets excited to “jump on Zooms and start reviewing decks of companies” they want to invest in.
Williams shared that she was inspired to start her VC firm when she attended a conference that revealed that less than 2% of VC money goes to women. Williams conveyed that she couldn’t understand why men were taking the lion’s share but understood that “someone who looks like me needs to start writing the checks.”
So far, Serena Ventures has funded Masterclass, Impossible Foods, Esusu, Tonal, and Noon. In 2022 alone, the VC managed to raise $111 million of outside capital, reporting that 78% of the company’s portfolio features companies founded by women and people of color.
Serena Williams wants another child
Williams was two months pregnant when she took home the cup in the Australian Open in 2017, despite feeling like she may harm her child. Although her pregnancy was “really easy,” she had complications after giving birth.
The star welcomed her daughter via C-section but had to be hospitalized due to a hematoma in her abdomen. But she is now ready for another baby. Williams told Vogue that her daughter Olympia really wants to be a big sister. She and her husband Alexis Ohanian Sr. have been working to make that happen.