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Serena Williams, the athlete and cultural icon

Serena Williams has dominated tennis for 20 years. But her influence extends beyond the court.

August 10, 2022
10 August 2022

After winning 23 grand slam titles, Serena Williams says she is turning her focus to having another child and her business interests as she readies to step away from tennis.

“I’m turning 41 this month and something’s got to give,” Williams wrote in an essay released Tuesday by Vogue magazine and a post on Instagram.

“There comes a time in life when we have to decide to move in a different direction. That time is always hard when you love something so much. My goodness do I enjoy tennis. But now, the countdown has begun,” Williams wrote on Instagram. “I have to focus on being a mom, my spiritual goals and finally discovering a different, but just (as) exciting Serena. I’m gonna relish these next few weeks.”

The early years

2000: Serena and Venus show off their singles and doubles trophies at Wimbledon (Stu Forster /Allsport)
1992: Serena in action on the tennis court. (Ken Levine/Getty Images)
1998: Candid pictures of Serena Williams during the Chase Championships in New York City (Clive Brunskill /Allsport)

More than a champion player

Williams, one of the most accomplished athletes in the history of her – or any other – sport, has seven titles apiece at Wimbledon and the Australian Open, six US Open wins, plus three at the French Open, across a career remarkable for its peaks and its longevity. She also owns 14 grand slam doubles championships, all won with her older sister, Venus.

She has done plenty outside of tennis, too.

That includes forays into business with investment firm Serena Ventures and entertainment via past acting roles and executive produced “King Richard,” the film about her father that was nominated for five Academy Awards. She launched a fashion collection in 2018 after collaborations with HSN and Nike, made multiple appearances on the red carpet at the annual Met Gala in New York and appeared on the cover of Vogue magazine.

“When Serena steps away from tennis, she will leave as the sport’s greatest player,” tennis great Billie Jean King told The Associated Press. “After a career that has inspired a new generation of players and fans, she will forever be known as a champion who won on the court and raised the global profile of the sport off of it.”

2015: Serena celebrates winning championship point in her women’s final match against Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open. (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
2017: Serena won again in Melbourne, beating sister Venus in the final. (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
2012: Another US Open title, beating Victoria Azarenka of Belarus. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
2019: In the mixed doubles with Scotland’s Andy Murray at Wimbledon. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
2004: At the “Fashion Rocks” event at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg, File)
2012: Another win at Wimbledon, defeating Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)
2022: Arriving at the Academy Awards where the film about her father Richard was nominated for several Oscars.(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
2019: The face of a champion. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
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