Serena Williams keeps fans hoping after bold ‘if I want to’ retirement answer

Serena Williams has kept fans’ hopes alive of a potential return to tennis folllowing an emphatic statement. The sporting icon retired following a third round defeat at the US Open earlier this month after announcing her intentions in an article with Vogue to ‘evolve’ away from the game.

Williams remains one of the sport’s greatest ever having won 23 Grand Slam titles, amassed 319 weeks at world number one, including a joint-record 186 consecutive weeks, and finished as the world’s top ranked player five times. Her supreme athleticism and power coupled with elite mental strength saw her dominate the game and is regarded by many as the greatest of all time.

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While it remains unlikely Williams will return to professional tennis, the 40-year-old has not completely shut the door on making a comeback if that’s what her heart desires. In an interview with actor Bradley Cooper, the tennis legend said: “I think if I want to come back, I can certainly do it.

“When you’re in it, you don’t see it. It’s completely different when you’re involved.” She also told The Hangover star why she felt this was the right time for her to step away from the game.

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Serena Williams says she will return to tennis 'if she wants to'

Serena Williams made a emphatic statement regarding any possible future return to tennis (Image: GETTY)

“I just needed to stop. I always said I wanted to stop when I was playing really good tennis and winning and beating good players,” she added. “For me, it’s really about the things I want to do spiritually and spend time with my daughter and my family.

“As a super pragmatic mom, I can tell you how tough it was. I lost a lot of matches after having Olympia, because it became really difficult to be on the pitch. I feel that I have given so much of my life to tennis, my entire life, that it is time to do something different for me and to dedicate myself to something else.”

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Further supporting and possibly expanding her family were some of the main reasons behind her decision to leave the game of tennis. During an appearance on this week, Williams discussed the tender moment she had with her daughter Olympia following the last match of her career.

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Serena Williams said goodbye to the game of tennis following a third round defeat at the US Open

Williams played the last match of her legendary career at the US Open earlier this month (Image: GETTY)

“It’s OK, mama. You just have to do what you feel. Do what you feel, do what your heart tells you,” Serena said Olympia told her. “It was the sweetest thing ever and I was so proud of her.”

The star athlete, who shares Olympia with her husband and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, 39, admitted she used to feel uncomfortable when her five-year-old attended her matches and would even become ‘stressed’ if Olympia was at her matches.

“I just was afraid I would get distracted because I would be like, ‘Wait, is she drinking? Is she doing this’” Serena said. “She came to a match once, like super brief, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, is she wearing sun cream?’’ It’s nuts.”

 

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