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The GOAT Says Goodbye

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2ème tour Roland Garros 2013 : Serena Williams (USA) def. Caroline Garcia (FRA)

by Suzanne Jackson

Serena Williams tennis career ended after a loss against Croatian-Australian player Ajla Tomljanovic at the 2022 U.S. Open. Williams announced her retirement in early August with an article published in Vogue that highlighted some of the more difficult moments of her career and her love for the game. Williams finished off her career with 4 Olympic gold medals, 73 single career titles, 23 double career titles and 23 Grand Slam titles. 

Williams grew up in Compton, California and learned to play tennis from her father Richard Williams. The 2021 film “King Richard” follows the upbringing of Williams and her sister Venus and the start of their tennis career’s. Richard Williams had always planned on the Williams sisters becoming professional tennis players so from a young age the sisters spent countless hours on the court practicing to hopefully be the best someday.

From a young age, it was projected that Venus was going to have a more successful tennis career because she had a natural gift for the sport. Serena from the start of her career had to work harder to keep up with her sister’s successes. Venus being the older of the two started off playing competitively first. Serena would follow her sister to tennis tournaments and be her hitting partner, sometimes also competing if there was an open slot available. 

Some critics claim that since Williams did not pass Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam titles, she is not the greatest of all time. “Shoulda, woulda, coulda,” said Williams. “I didn’t show up the way I should have or could have. But I showed up 23 times, and that’s fine” (Vogue, 2022). 

William’s retirement plans include focusing on her venture capitalist firm Serena Ventures. Williams will also be continuing projects with sponsors such as Nike, to keep on inspiring young girls to chase their dreams, play with aggression, pump their fists, and wear whatever they want when playing the sport they love. 

Williams finishes her retirement announcement in Vogue with an emotional address to the fans that have supported her throughout her career. “You have carried me to so many wins and so many trophies,” said Williams. “I’m going to miss that version of me, that girl who played tennis. And I’m going to miss you” (Vogue, 2022).  Williams will go down history as not only one of the greatest athletes of all time, but one of the most influential female athletes. Thank you, Serena.