Serena Williams says she doesn’t know when she will retire from tennis and is just “living for the day” as she balances her sporting career with outside interests. The 40-year-old is still chasing the outright Grand Slam record in women’s tennis, sitting currently on 23 to Margaret Court’s 24. But with a new investment fund and a wish to expand her family, it remains to be seen what happens.
Serena Williams remains coy on her retirement plans, revealing that she is currently just “living for the day”. Williams, now 40, is widely considered the best player to grace women’s tennis in the modern era, with Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles just about the only target the younger Williams sister has yet to reach.
But having stated she would like to expand her family and with a new start-up investment fund – Serena Ventures – to manage, it’s clear there are other competing priorities in her life.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Williams said: “I think every tennis player thinks about the R-word [retirement] as soon as they hit five years because tennis is so intense, it’s literally 11 months out of the year.
“But I don’t know. I’m living for the day and I always tell people, ‘I’m not planning for tomorrow, only in business, and when it comes to tennis, I’m planning just for today.’”
Williams also had her say on the treatment of Naomi Osaka during the recent Masters tournament at Indian Wells, with the Japanese reduced to tears by heckling from the crowd.
Williams was famously given similar treatment by the crowd at ‘Tennis Paradise’ in 2001, and boycotted the tournament for 14 years until her return in 2015. “That was my whole life, trying to prove to people that I was better than that [their meanness],” she said.
“And that’s what I’m doing now in a different way. I love proving that athletes can turn and have an amazing career.”
Uncertainty continues to surround Williams’ return to the WTA Tour. She didn’t compete at Indian Wells, and there has been no indication she is planning to enter any of April’s clay-court tournaments that follow the ‘sunshine swing’.
Due to a playing absence that stretches back to Wimbledon 2021 where she withdrew with injury in the first round, Williams is currently ranked 240th in the world.