American tennis great Serena Williams on Tuesday announced that her incredible career is coming to an end.
The 40-year-old is one of the greatest players in the history of tennis and hinted at finishing her storied career at the US Open which begins later this month.
“There comes a time in life when we have to decide to move in a different direction,” she said on Instagram. “That time is always hard when you love something so much. My goodness do I enjoy tennis.
“But now, the countdown has begun. 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.”
It has been a challenging few seasons for Williams after she suffered a torn right hamstring at Wimbledon last year. On Monday, she competed in her first hardcourt match in 18 months, defeating Spain’s Nuria Parrizas Diaz in Toronto.
She remains one shy of the all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles won by Margaret Court. Williams won the last of her 23 Slams at the 2017 Australian Open.
“I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me,” Williams wrote in Vogue as she revealed her retirement plans. “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.
“Unfortunately I wasn’t ready to win Wimbledon this year. And I don’t know if I will be ready to win New York. But I’m going to try.”
Serena Williams net worth
Irrespective of what happens over the coming weeks, Williams will be celebrated as an inspirational figure in tennis who dominated the sport, alongside sister Venus, like very few before her.
Her incredible success and popularity amassed her considerable wealth as well. On the tennis court, Williams has earned $94.5 million in WTA career earnings, easily the best in the sport.
However, off the court is where she made the truly big bucks. According to Forbes, Williams became one of the top self-made multi-millionaires with an estimated net worth of $260 million.
While she has been a favourite among advertisers and leading brands, Williams is using her fame and success to help the next generation. Through her investment firm Serena Ventures, Williams has invested in more than 60 startups, with an emphasis on diversity.