American professional tennis player Serena Williams is the reason why I gave sports so much importance in my life. Back in the ’90s when girls and sports weren’t a thing, she somehow encouraged me to break free and give it a shot.
Hence, when she announced that she would be
retiring evolving away from the sport, it made me emotional.
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The 40-year-old renowned sports personality made this heartbreaking announcement via an article for Vogue. In her own words, she bid adieu to the sport which defined her.
“I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. I’ve been thinking of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people.”
She described it as an evolution.
“Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution. I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me. “
In Vogue’s September issue, @serenawilliams prepares to say farewell to tennis on her own terms and in her own words. “It’s the hardest thing that I could ever imagine,” she says. “I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next” https://t.co/6Zr0UXVTH1 pic.twitter.com/YtGtcc18a9
— Vogue Magazine (@voguemagazine) August 9, 2022
The fact that she would be moving on from playing tennis never comforted her.
“But I’ve been reluctant to admit to myself or anyone else that I have to move on from playing tennis. It comes up, I get an uncomfortable lump in my throat, and I start to cry. One thing I’m not going to do is sugarcoat this.”
“I know that a lot of people are excited about and look forward to retiring, and I really wish I felt that way. There is no happiness in this topic for me. I know it’s not the usual thing to say, but I feel a great deal of pain. It’s the hardest thing that I could ever imagine. I hate it. I hate that I have to be at this crossroads.”
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And just like us, even she doesn’t want it to be over. However, she is ready for what’s in store for her.
“I keep saying to myself, I wish it could be easy for me, but it’s not. I’m torn: I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next. I don’t know how I’m going to be able to look at this magazine when it comes out, knowing that this is it, the end of a story that started in Compton, California, with a little Black girl who just wanted to play tennis.”
This news came as a shocker for all Serena fans who had a bittersweet feeling about it.
I'm sad to see her go, but thrilled to know that she has helped so many young people, girls in particular, to see that their dreams are real and reachable.
— Donnie Simpson (@DonnieSimpson) August 9, 2022
The retirement announcement- at once predictable and shocking – is the headline. But this is an awfully revealing and poignant read. Well worth your ten minutes…. https://t.co/f5kIgFZ6xU
— Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) August 9, 2022
I don't describe my feelings right know, it will be very hurtful to the tennis world cause our Queen @serenawilliams says farewell to tennis, but also I'm really happy as fan but also as a person that she did what she did and nobody can't take away from her…. #SerenaWilliams https://t.co/WZdvdvukKu
— Anthony Clay (@anthocavedaghi) August 9, 2022
We could never be ready to say farewell to Serena Williams. 💔
Surely your evolution will bring you just as much success off of the courts as it did on them. Our best wishes to Montréal's greatest female champion @serenawilliams! 🏆🏆🏆
— Omnium Banque Nationale (@OBNmontreal) August 9, 2022
Serena retiring will truly be the end of an era. This will fundamentally change tennis. https://t.co/kGCa3k1LIK
— Kat Walcott (@katwalcott) August 9, 2022
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Bittersweet moment but we cannot wait to watch all that @serenawilliams will accomplish off the court. Congratulations to the 🐐 and we look forward to cheering you on at the #USOpen! https://t.co/x2kHVnR6B4
— Women's Sports Foundation (@WomensSportsFdn) August 9, 2022
Serena says don't call it a retirement, call it an evolution. Evolving into whatever's next.
Love it and feel that! 🐛🦋 https://t.co/8uwPMsqZvv
— Lauren Chamberlain (@LChamberlain44) August 9, 2022
The end of an era. 🥲 It's going to be hard to imagine tennis without her.
I'm so thankful growing up, I had @serenawilliams to look up to know Black girls can achieve anything they set their heart out to.
Thank you, GOAT!!! 🤍 https://t.co/wKmRXPMj18
— Tanisha Thomas (@tanishajanae) August 9, 2022
Whew. The end of an era. Wow. https://t.co/ZCiApXcjOd
— Simply TC 💚💛🖤 (@BienSur_JeTaime) August 9, 2022
We all knew this day would come!!
The GOAT of tennis Serena Williams announces her retirement😥😔
What Serena has done in her career transcends more than just tennis. She broke down walls for equality, racism & much much more!!
A true icon & legend, u will be missed Serena🙏🏽 https://t.co/NwGA0XpfYC
— Reggie🐺🐊 (@Reggie61823972) August 9, 2022
😭😭😭 The end of a legendary era that lasted my adolescence and entire adult life. I'm emotional. https://t.co/cJf06hAUbs
— MisandryPope (@MisandryPope) August 9, 2022
With this announcement, all eyes would be on her during the US Open as it might be the last time she would be competing in a tournament. Will the sport ever be the same without her?