Serena Williams 'torn' in sad revelation about retirement from tennis

The 23-time grand slam champion has spoken about her mixed feelings over her decision to walk away from tennis.

Serena Williams, pictured here with husband Alexis Ohanian.
Serena Williams has spoken out about her decision to retire from tennis. Image: Getty

Serena Williams has admitted she's torn about her decision to walk away from professional tennis, saying she still feels like she could play on the WTA tour. The 23-time grand slam champion farewelled tennis at the US Open in September, drawing the curtain on her illustrious career.

However the 41-year-old has hinted a number of times in recent months that she doesn't think she's completely done with tennis. In a new interview with E! on Monday, Williams openly admitted she has mixed feelings about her retirement.

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“It’s interesting. I think I feel torn because I’m still able to play at a very, very, very high level," she said. “With that being said, I always wanted to leave the game playing at a very high level.

“I also wanted to walk away when I’m healthy and have a quality of life. But I’m inch-by-inch leaning away, inch-by-inch embracing it.

“I was playing earlier when I first retired because it was hard to do it cold turkey. But lately, I haven’t played so much. And I miss it. I’m like, ‘Oh my goodness. I gotta get out there’. But it’s hard for me to get out there.

“I did play the other day, and it’s just like, ‘There’s no way I shouldn’t be playing professional tennis’. Like, there’s literally no excuse. But I mean, I guess there is an excuse, right? It’s hard because when I’m playing I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m pretty good at this. I can continue to do this,’ which not a lot of people can say.”

Williams said it wouldn't be possible for her to enjoy her work-life balance if she was still playing professionally. “I’ve been playing tennis for literally my entire life,” she said.

“My entire being and knowing is just what I’ve done. So now, I’m inch-by-inch finding my way.

"Obviously, I love other businesses that I’ve done. But just inch-by-inch leaning into that and leaning into my family and leaning into just having fun. I think it’s so important to do all those and still create that balance.”

Serena Williams, pictured here with husband Alexis Ohanian and their daughter Olympia at the US Open in 2022.
Serena Williams with husband Alexis Ohanian and their daughter Olympia at the US Open in 2022. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images) (Jean Catuffe via Getty Images)

Serena Williams focusing on business and family

Williams said she will now focus on her venture capital firm 'Serena Ventures'. She has also expressed her desire to grow her family with husband Alexis Ohanian, with whom she has five-year-old daughter Olympia.

Williams' retirement came with the brutal twist that she never equalled Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 grand slam titles. The American champion lost the last four grand slam finals that she played.

The final match of her professional career was a loss to Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round at Flushing Meadows. "I was actually not very happy at all, just because of the result," she said earlier this month.

An infographic of the top grand slam winners in the Open Era of tennis (since 1968).
The top grand slam winners in the Open Era of tennis (since 1968). (Photo by Mahmut Resul Karaca/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

"I was there to keep going and to keep winning, and it was more or less like, I can't believe I let that match go more than anything... Obviously it was a great moment and a great memory and I don't feel like I've left anything, but I just felt like what I could have done better that day."

Tennis fans took to social media on Monday to express their sadness over Williams' feelings of remorse about her retirement. Many were also talking about the Super Bowl commercial she appeared in during the Kansas City Chiefs' win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

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