AP PHOTOS: Serena Williams, the athlete and cultural icon
After winning 23 Grand Slam titles, Serena Williams says she is turning her focus to having another child and her business interests as she readies to step away from tennis.
“I’m turning 41 this month, and something’s got to give,” Williams wrote in an essay released Tuesday by Vogue magazine, and a post on Instagram.
“There comes a time in life when we have to decide to move in a different direction. That time is always hard when you love something so much. My goodness do I enjoy tennis. But now, the countdown has begun,” Williams wrote on Instagram. “I have to focus on being a mom, my spiritual goals and finally discovering a different, but just (as) exciting Serena. I’m gonna relish these next few weeks.”
Williams, one of the most accomplished athletes in the history of her — or any other — sport, has seven titles apiece at Wimbledon and the Australian Open, six U.S. Open wins, plus three at the French Open, across a career remarkable for its peaks and its longevity. She also owns 14 Grand Slam doubles championships, all won with her older sister, Venus.
She has done plenty outside of tennis, too.
That includes forays into business with investment firm Serena Ventures and entertainment via past acting roles and executive produced “King Richard,” the film about her father that was nominated for five Academy Awards. She launched a fashion collection in 2018 after collaborations with HSN and Nike, made multiple appearances on the red carpet at the annual Met Gala in New York and appeared on the cover of Vogue magazine.
“When Serena steps away from tennis, she will leave as the sport’s greatest player,” tennis great Billie Jean King told The Associated Press. “After a career that has inspired a new generation of players and fans, she will forever be known as a champion who won on the court and raised the global profile of the sport off of it.”
AP Sports Writer Melissa Murphy contributed.
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