NEW YORK: Serena Williams is getting ready to retire from tennis at the major where it all started after a dazzling 27-year professional career that saw her rise to become one of the best players of all time.
The 40-year-old sports legend put an end to speculation about her future earlier this month by announcing that the “countdown” to her retirement had begun and that her final Grand Slam performance would be at the US Open in New York the following week.
Life requires us to make the decision to go in a different direction at some point, according to Williams. “When you love something so much, that time is always difficult.This announcement set the tone for Williams’ dramatic goodbye, as she defeated Martina Hingis in the 1999 US Open final to win the first of her 23 Grand Slam singles titles.
That game-changing triumph proved what had been clear ever since Williams’ professional debut four years prior: that she and sister Venus were two of the top players in women’s tennis.Williams won mixed doubles championships at Wimbledon and the US Open in 1998, but her first singles Grand Slam didn’t come until 1999.