One of the most prominent American athletes is ready to retire. Tennis legend Serena Williams has announced her retirement plans in the latest issue of Vogue. She did not put an exact timeline on when she will stop playing, but does plan to play in the upcoming US Open.
“It’s the hardest thing that I could ever imagine,” the tennis star told Vogue. “I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next.”
In an Instagram post promoting the Vogue piece on Tuesday morning, Williams wrote “I’m gonna relish these next few weeks,” insinuating that the US Open — which begins on Aug. 29 — will be her last tournament.
Williams, 40, changed the sport of tennis when she broke onto the scene in 1995. Since then, she has won the Australian Open seven times, Wimbledon seven times, the US Open six times and the French Open three times. Altogether, she has 23 Grand Slam singles titles to her name, the most by any player in the Open Era.
The only person with more Grand Slam titles is Margaret Court (24).
“Unfortunately I wasn’t ready to win Wimbledon this year,” Williams told Vouge. “And I don’t know if I will be ready to win New York [the US Open]. But I’m going to try. And the lead-up tournaments will be fun.”
During her career, Williams was at the top of the Women’s Tennis Association rankings for a joint-record 186 consecutive weeks, and finished as the year-end No. 1 five times.
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