In a new Vogue cover story, Serena Williams revealed she is beginning her transition away from professional tennis.
In the story told to Rob Haskell, Williams opens by revealing the desire of her daughter to become a big sister. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Williams wrote. “She doesn’t know I’m listening, but I can hear the answer she whispers into the phone. She says, “I want to be a big sister.”
Williams would highlight that she does not want to choose between tennis and a family, highlighting the male advantage of being able to continue an active sports career while also being a parent.
“If I were a guy, I wouldn’t be writing this because I’d be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labor of expanding our family. Maybe I’d be more of a Tom Brady if I had that opportunity. Don’t get me wrong: I love being a woman, and I loved every second of being pregnant with Olympia. I was one of those annoying women who adored being pregnant and was working until the day I had to report to the hospital—although things got super complicated on the other side. And I almost did do the impossible: A lot of people don’t realize that I was two months pregnant when I won the Australian Open in 2017. But I’m turning 41 this month, and something’s got to give.”
While Williams expresses that she is moving away from the game, she stands on not liking the word “retirement.”
It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. I’ve been thinking of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people. 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.
You can read the full story from Williams and Vogue below.