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US tennis great Serena Williams on Tuesday announced that "the countdown has begun" to her upcoming retirement from the sport. Williams said she is "evolving away from tennis" as she detailed her retirement from the sport that she dominated for the majority of her career with 23 singles Grand Slam titles.

In an essay released today by Vogue magazine, Williams says she is ready to step away from tennis, turning her focus to having another child and her business interests.

“I’m turning 41 this month, and something’s got to give," the 40-year-old 23-time Grand Slam winner said in a post on Instagram.

"There comes a time in life when we have to decide to move in a different direction," she wrote.

"That time is always hard when you love something so much. My goodness do I enjoy tennis. But now, the countdown has begun.

"I have to focus on being a mom, my spiritual goals and finally discovering a different, but just exciting Serena. I'm gonna relish these next few weeks."

The 40-year-old said after that match that she could see the light at the end of the tennis tunnel in her career before suggesting the US Open starting this month could be her swansong.

Williams won her last Grand Slam in 2017 and has been chasing an elusive 24th crown that will draw her level with Margaret Court who holds the record for most majors.

She came tantalisingly close to achieving that feat, featuring in four major finals since giving birth to daughter Olympia in 2017.

Williams is playing this week in Toronto, at a hard-court tournament that leads into the US Open, the year’s last Grand Slam event, which begins in New York on 29 August.

The American has won more Grand Slam singles titles in the professional era than any other woman or man. Only one player, Margaret Court, collected more, 24, although she won a portion of hers in the amateur era.

 

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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