Tennis legend steps down, prioritizing family

Kent Pham, Staff Writer

Serena Williams played her last tennis match this September during the Wimbledon tour. After nearly three decades of dominating the women’s tennis world, arguably the most iconic tennis player of all time has put down the racket. 

When tennis is talked about to the casual audience, one of most recognizable names is Serena Williams. 27 years of groundbreaking wins have proven her to be among the greatest players of all time. 23 Grand Slam Singles titles and four Olympic Gold Medals are only scratching the surface of the achievements she has managed. However, with the pressure of having to decide between her family and tennis, Williams decided that she deserves some hard-earned rest. 

“It’s been cool following her career over the years because of her unique childhood story and sister dynamic with Venus Williams. She’s legendary not only for being a phenomenal player, but also for her humble attitude and graciousness on the court,” senior Lily Bennett said. 

Williams grew up in Compton, a poor suburb of Los Angeles, with her parents and five sisters. She and one of her sisters, Venus Williams, showed unnatural talent at a young age and grew up to be extremely successful tennis stars. As Williams progressed through her matches, she earned endless respect from her peers, as well as her opponents.

In a feature by Vogue, Williams made her priorities clear when she said, “If I have to choose between building my tennis résumé and building my family, I choose the latter.”

Williams makes it apparent that it is difficult for her to continue playing tennis professionally while spending time with her 5-year-old daughter, Venus. Juggling a sport that takes up so much of her time while being a full-time mom led her to the decision that one must go.    

“Her success proves that any person is capable of tremendous things. Serena’s example will serve as an inspiration for countless generations of not just women but all peoples,” senior Tommy Monkarsh said.

Although Williams has undoubtedly inspired countless young Black women around the world, she was not the first Black woman to play tennis. She was not the first to be great at it, either. However, her impact as an athlete has shaped the sport forever. Her massive serves, powerful groundstrokes, lightning-fast speed and unwavering confidence over her lengthy career has influenced players to raise the bar.