Venus Williams bows out in first round of women’s singles at US Open
Venus Williams in action at Roland Garros. (Getty)
Venus’ retirement is a big story, with the tennis world talking about the legacy she will leave behind. She took it a step further, though, by announcing that she is retiring from tennis competitively after this year. Her decision to walk away from the sport was a “personal decision,” according to Tennis.com.
Her reasons for retiring, she said, include her physical health, her relationship with her coaches, and her decision to spend time with her two children.
“The sport of tennis has evolved beyond my playing experience, but it has also been enriched with friends, family and coaches,” Williams said in a statement posted to Twitter. “I’ve learned a tremendous amount of life lessons, and all of it adds up to a really satisfying experience. I hope to continue to pursue other opportunities that allow me to express my enthusiasm for the game of tennis.”
Williams is the first American woman to complete a women’s singles Grand Slam since Chris Evert in the 1994 Wimbledon Championships. Williams reached a career-high ranking of No. 1 earlier this year.
Williams’ decision to quit the tennis circuit, however, is an unprecedented one. In the 50-year history of the Women’s Open tournament, only two women – Steffi Graf in 1976 and Martina Navratilova in 1985 – quit in their first year. The two others resigned after the Open, so they did not qualify for either the 1976 or 1985 editions of the tournament.
“She’s not someone who quit too much out of frustration,” Graf told reporters after Williams’ announcement. “She’s always wanted to be successful at what she pursued in life. It came just as her time was coming up. She decided, hey, this is it.”
Williams’ announcement comes just hours before the second round begins at the US Open. As she prepares to retire, Williams plans to focus on her children, her coaching staff, and her charitable causes.
She is the second major female