Did Serena Williams back up from retirement?

The athlete might have found inspiration in Tom Brady

Serena Williams asked Tiger Woods for advice when she decided to retire. Still, the athlete might have found inspiration in Tom Brady and unretired after surprising the world with the news that she would be saying goodbye to the sport that made her an icon.

During an interview with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the 23-time Grand Slam champion and former number one tennis player in the world discussed her decision to leave tennis but also said she might change her mind.

2022 US Open - Day 5©GettyImages
Serena Williams of the United States walks off the court after having played her final career match against Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia in the third round on Day 5 of the US Open Tennis Championships at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 02, 2022 in New York City

“There’s no chance of you pulling a Tom Brady and saying, ‘Maybe I’m evolving to coming back,’” Fallon asked Williams, to which she replied, “You know what? Tom Brady started an amazing trend.”

“That’s what I want to say,” she laughed.

William also said that before announcing her plans in an essay in Vogue, the only person who knew was her therapist. “The only person that knew at one point about it was my therapist,” she said to Fallon. “Because verbalizing meant that it was real, and I don’t want it to be real, so I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do, and I don’t think you really know until I don’t know until you say it or it’s actually real.” Williams said she was overwhelmed by announcing the news because it “was a lot.”

“I always thought at the end of it I would just leave quietly and not saying anything and make an announcement on social media,” she said. “That’s how I always thought I would do it.”

“I’ve been playing tennis since I was little in a stroller... that’s how long I’ve been around tennis,” Williams added. “But when it came out, I was actually relieved, and I didn’t expect to feel that way. I felt pretty good. It’s like when you want to accomplish something, and you don’t do it, but then when you finally do it, you’re like, ‘It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was.?’ I should have done it ten years ago!”

The athlete who ranked the world’s No. 1 by the Women’s Tennis Association for 319 weeks announced in Vogue’s latest issue that she will “evolve away from tennis.” According to Williams, her retirement decision is to focus on “other things that are important to me.”

The 23-time grand slam winner said she will give her all at the US Open, and after it is over, she will be moving “in a different direction.”

“I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me,” Serena told Vogue. “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.”

She continued: “Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready to win Wimbledon this year. And I don’t know if I will be ready to win New York. But I’m going to try.”

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