Serena Williams will shock us with retirement


Serena Williams‘ professional tennis career has been going strong for over 25 years and even though we know that the end must be near since she’s 39 years old now, we still feel like her retirement is in the distant future. One thing we know now, the 23-time Grand Slam champion will not prepare us for the day she leaves the sport, we won’t have a prior notice.

Feeling sad and frustrated for missing another shot at record-tying 24th major title, Williams broke down in tears and abruptly left the press conference that followed her semifinal defeat to Naomi Osaka at the Australian Open.

After the match, Williams revealed that if she decided to quit tennis, she would not let anyone know about it. Walking off the court after today’s loss at Melbourne Park, Williams put her hand on her heart to a standing ovation and some people understood that she was almost saying farewell. Explaining the hand on her chest gesture, Williams said it was her showing respect for the amazing crowd in Australia, but when asked whether it was her farewell, the American gave an ambiguous answer:

If I ever say farewell, I wouldn’t tell anyone.

We can speculate whether Serena felt like she was saying goodbye to Australia, but her answer does suggest that she will not tell us in advance when she decides to hang up her racquet.

What speaks in favor of this being the closing stage of Williams’ career is the fact that she was able to answer only one more question before tears flowed down her face. When asked what caused her inability to control unforced errors and whether it was just a bad day in the office, Williams was overwhelmed with emotions and left the room, saying:

I don’t know. I’m done.

Afterwards, Williams penned an emotional message on Instagram:

Melbourne and my Australian fans: Today was not ideal outcome or performance but it happens… I am so honored to be able to play in front of you all. Your support, your cheers, I only wish I could have done better for you today. I am forever in debt and grateful to each and everyone single one of you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I adore you.


  1. I get that this loss hurts her but I don’t think it should be a cause for retirement. Her game is in a good place after all these years and it’s still getting her to the latter stages of slams, she just needs to get over that mental block that cripples her whenever she gets to the latter stages of these tournaments.
    When she starts losing early a lot, that’s when it’ll be time to hang it up.

  2. SeVen, I agree, it’s still not the time for Serena to retire. She is still one of the biggest threats on the WTA Tour. What I understood from her interview and pointed out in this article is that she will not prepare us for her retirement, we will not know in advance.

  3. The Steffi Graf model– who retired at 30 shortly after winning Roland Garros (including beating
    the top 3 ranked players in the world) and then losing to Davenport in the Wimbledon final. Those events
    alone would be a career achievement for most players. She didn’t tip she was not only contemplating retirement but already picking the right moment. Then she simply walked away and had her ranking points removed.
    This one really stung because Serena really worked on fitness to improve her movement and defense.
    Her ‘open stance’ style of play probably hurts her when she tightens and keeps finding the net. A lot
    would have to go her way to win another major. Is it enough to simply maintain a top 10 ranking and
    continue? Don’t know. Family considerations may likely decide.

  4. When Serena walked off the court there was definitely a moment where it looked like we saw a goodbye moment. It was very emotional to watch her get the standing ovation and put her hand on her heart. All that being said…Naomi played brilliantly and it certainly seemed like the final moment of the changing of the guard.

  5. I don’t know why everyone saying this it it. She will retire. It was a tough loss. Her game wasn’t on and she was a little devastated by that. Thats all i got from it.


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