Serena Williams Announces Retirement

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Serena Williams will retire from tennis after playing in the U.S. Open beginning later this month, she announced Tuesday morning in an article in Vogue, capping the 23-time Grand Slam champion’s legendary career on the court.

Serena Williams reacts during her National Bank Open tennis tournament first round match on Monday.

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Key Facts

The 40-year-old Williams will retire with the most Grand Slam titles in the Open Era.

Williams is also the highest-earning female tennis player ever, winning over $94 milion over the course of her career, more than double the next closest player, her sister Venus Williams, who has $42 million in career winnings.

After a year-long absence, Serena Williams returned to play in Wimbledon in June, losing her opening match.

Her dominance on the court trailed off in recent years, last winning a Grand Slam in 2017.

Key Background

Raised in the Compton neighborhood of Los Angeles, the Williams sisters’ rise to superstardom was chronicled in the 2021 King Richard, which earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. Williams was one of the highest-paid athletes in the world for much of her career, raking in tens of millions of dollars in endorsements annually from sponsors including Gatorade and Nike in addition to her on-court winnings. Her venture capital fund, Serena Ventures, raised $111 million in its inaugural funding round in March.

Crucial Quote

Williams wrote in Vogue: “I’m not looking for some ceremonial, final on-court moment. I’m terrible at goodbyes, the world’s worst. But please know that I am more grateful for you than I can ever express in words. You have carried me to so many wins and so many trophies. I’m going to miss that version of me, that girl who played tennis. And I’m going to miss you.”

Forbes Valuation

We estimate Williams is worth $260 million, making her the wealthiest female athlete of all time. Williams’ husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, has a $70 million fortune of his own, Forbes estimated in 2019.

Further Reading

Serena Williams Says Farewell to Tennis On Her Own Terms—And In Her Own Words (Vogue)

Inside Serena Williams’ Plan To Ace Venture Investing (Forbes)

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