Evolving is inevitable and change is difficult, even when you stop doing something you love. It opens a new chapter in life. Serena Williams has announced that she will hang up the racquets after the 2022 U.S. Open. Now, her focus is on growing her family.
Serena seems to be reluctant to retire. But as she told Vogue magazine, she and her husband want to have another baby. One day Serena was driving, and her daughter, Olympia, was playing an interactive phone game in the back seat. The game asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. And her daughter replied and whispered, “a big sister.” Upon hearing this Serena felt the moment required mindful consideration, attention, and thought.
Injuries Make You Rethink Life, Not Sport
While detrimental to the sport, injuries allow an athlete to see the other side of life. Unfortunately, they usually miss out on precious moments because of intense training schedules. Serena explained that she spent more time with her daughter throughout the year while recovering from her hamstring injury. For example, playing with Olympia, picking her up from school, etc. Serena was able to see and feel her daughter’s excitement.
Situations, relationships, and experiences that were unintentionally neglected become important. It is not that people were forgotten; it is because of an intense laser focus on winning. However, what is missing in the heart makes the heart grow fonder. Serena said, “The fact is that nothing is a sacrifice for me when it comes to Olympia. It all just makes sense.”
Serena never overlooked being a mother. Her professional athletic career required significant amounts of time. Winning 23 Grand Slams is not about practicing a few days a week. It requires ultimate dedication and persistent sacrifice, hours upon hours each day. It is how you become legendary.
Serena feels jaded because she feels that she would not be in this position if she were a man. She says that as a man, she would not have to choose between tennis and a family, expressing that it’s unfair. And that being a man means she would not have to retire because she could play and win while her wife would be doing the physical labor of expanding the family. Comparing herself to Tom Brady, she said she could accomplish more if she had the time and opportunity.
There is nothing wrong with transitioning from legendary tennis player to mom. Everything happens for a reason, and what develops, transfers with you in time. But, of course, she will miss tennis in her first years. “Nothing great was ever accomplished without sacrifice.” –Anonymous. Sacrificing tennis for your family is the foundation and preparation for marvelous things to come.
US Open Record Ticket Sales
Based on Serena’s retirement, The US Open ticket sales have skyrocketed and are now in high demand. Based on the news, USTA spokesperson Chris Widmaier said they sold 13,000 tickets in one day. Ticketmaster has also increased the price of tickets sold online to match the final chance to watch Serena play. Her last steps, backhands, and serves on the court will be a keepsake moment for all. That is if she decides to retire. You never know, she could pull a Tom Brady- retire, then unretire.
From being a wild car and not having a good performance at Wimbledon, I think the US Open will be a decision maker whether she will pack it up, step aside, and call it quits.
When she does retire, her name will be etched on the Wall of Legends. Therefore, she needs not to think about what more she could have done because she has already done it.
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