Serena Williams revealed her startling decision to leave the world of professional tennis in an article for Vogue published in August 2022.
She admitted to the magazine that she had never been a fan of the word ‘retirement’ because it didn’t correspond to her vision of the contemporary world.
Instead of retiring, she preferred to refer to what she was doing as progress. Serena acknowledged that she was moving away from the sport that had made her famous and toward other pursuits.
The athlete explained how a few years prior, she had founded Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm.
Shortly after reaching that milestone, the tennis player started expanding her family by welcoming her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., adding:
‘I want that family to expand,’
Serena said that she had been reluctant to tell anyone—including herself—that she needed to stop playing tennis.
She said that because it was a taboo subject for them, her husband, Alexis Ohanian Sr., hardly ever brought it up in conversation. The celebrity claimed that she was unable to discuss the situation with either her parents.
When the topic would come up, the athlete would experience a ‘uncomfortable lump’ in her throat and begin to cry since she believed it wasn’t a genuine thing until it was spoken aloud.She had only ever discussed it with her therapist.
Serena acknowledged that up until that moment, her entire life had revolved around tennis, with her father remarking on the fact that she had first taken up a racket at the age of three.
The tennis star thought she had picked one up earlier, though. Serena wasn’t much older than 18 months old when Venus Williams pushed her in a baby carriage on a tennis court, according to a picture she remembered seeing.
The athlete’s aspirations have since changed as a result of her declaration that she would prioritize starting a family over enhancing her tennis career.
In September 2022, Serena’s daughter, who would be five, said something significant to her.
Olympia drove her mother’s phone as they made their way to the passport office to get the young girl’s passport for a vacation to Europe.
When the youngster was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up while playing one of her favorite interactive educational games, Serena wrote:
Although she is unaware that I am listening, I can hear her mumble the response into the phone. I want to be a big sister, she declares.
The mother of the young child claims that Olympia repeated the request repeatedly, even when she knew Serena was paying attention. Before going to sleep, the young girl would pray for the arrival of her baby sister.
The tennis pro then clarified that her kid didn’t want to learn that her parents were expecting a boy. Serena, the youngest of five children, said she could relate because her sisters were her role models.
So I’ve felt like I need to pay close attention to this moment.
Serena clarified that she never thought it was fair to have to pick between having a family and playing tennis.
The tennis player remarked that if she were a man, she wouldn’t have been required to write the Vogue article.
While her wife performed the ‘physical labor’ of growing their family, she would win matches. The actress admitted that, given the chance, she would have wanted to be Tom Brady, but she also adored being a woman and every moment of her daughter’s pregnancy.
She identified herself as a grouchy woman who loved the prenatal stage and worked until she needed to check into the hospital.
Serena observed how things became difficult once she arrived at the hospital but recognized she had come very close to accomplishing the impossible.
She discussed how she won the 2017 Australian Open while two months pregnant. The celebrity talked about feeling like something had to give when she turned 41 in August 2022.
Serena published her Vogue cover photo on Instagram during the same month and wrote that there was a period when people had to change their paths. She realized how difficult it was to leave behind something you loved.
The athlete acknowledged that her career was nearing its conclusion. She declared she wanted to concentrate on becoming a mother, finding a Serena who was as interesting but different, and achieving her spiritual objectives.
Williams never considered having kids but was looking forward to having a second one.
Serena discussed how, in the beginning of her career, she had never considered having children in the Vogue piece.
Rarely, she considered having children, but she was concerned about the challenges they would face.
The superstar claimed that she had never felt at ease around kids or babies and believed that, in the event that she had kids, other people would take care of them. Serena said that she was a hands-on parent even though she had help with Olympia.
The young girl had only ever spent a single day apart from her mother in her entire life. Serena continued to pick up Olympia four out of the five days of school each week despite having a hamstring problem, she added.
‘The truth is that when it comes to Olympia, nothing is a sacrifice for me. Just everything makes sense.’
Like her mother did, the professional tennis player wanted to teach her daughter how to read, tie her shoes, and many other things. Every month, Olympia had a different interest, and recently, it had been watching cooking programs.
Serena said that she enjoyed playing the pretend-lava game ‘The Floor Is Lava’ just as much as her kid did. Tennis, in contrast, seemed like a sacrifice she had liked making.
She reflected on how her parents had encouraged her to play the sport, but now she urged them to let their kids follow their interests.
She acknowledged that she never rebelled as a child, instead choosing to put in a lot of effort and adhere to the law.
The athlete claimed that she didn’t want to force Olympia into tennis but rather into anything that the young girl showed an interest in.
Serena claimed she was learning to strike the correct balance and declined to exert excessive pressure on her daughter.
The tennis player claimed that she and her husband spent 2021 attempting to conceive once more.
She explained how their doctor had recently reduced their tension by letting them know that they could have a second addition whenever they were ready; yet, Serena said:
‘As an athlete, I most definitely do not want to get pregnant again. Tennis requires me to be either two feet in or two feet out.’
When she first met her husband, Serena didn’t like him.
Although Serena and Alexis intended to have a second child together, their relationship had a rocky beginning.
The athlete discussed how they had met on April 26, 2018, during an interview on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.’
She claimed that when she was attending a tournament in Rome, Italy, she typically stayed in her room and studied or watched movies.
Due to her anxiety, the star reportedly skipped breakfast while it was going on.
One morning she made the decision to abandon her habit, but when she went downstairs breakfast had already started, so she chose another place to sit. A large, tall man entered while she was seated there with her coach and trainer.
Funny Serena called the stranger «frumpy but hard.» When the man chose to take a seat next to Serena’s table, she and her coworkers tried to get rid of him by pretending there was a rat in the room, but that encounter resulted in the couple being married!
How Alexis transformed into Serena’s support system with the birth of their daughter
Serena discussed her difficulties welcoming her daughter on September 1, 2017, in a January 2018 interview with Vogue.
Olympia was born via C-section when the athlete’s pulse rate dropped dangerously low during labor because the celebrity had a smooth pregnancy up until that point.
Olympia the toddler stopped sobbing when she was placed on Serena’s chest after the emergency treatment was successfully completed.
The following day, Serena began to experience breathing difficulties, and the athlete believed she was experiencing another pulmonary embolism.
Although Alexis [Ohanian] strained since he couldn’t assist his wife [Serena Williams], he was happy to change his daughter’s [Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.] diapers.
Serena left her mother in her hospital room and walked to a nurse to explain her problem since she was constantly worried about blood clots.
The athlete said that in addition to a CT scan, she required IV heparin, a blood thinner. The nurse initially believed Serena’s pain medicine was the cause of her confusion, but the tennis player insisted.
However, a CT scan revealed blood clots in the athlete’s lungs after a doctor responded to her call and did an ultrasound of the athlete’s legs.
Serena had succeeded in preserving her own life. Sadly, the star’s C-section split open due to her frequent coughing, and she had to have another surgery.
Later, she underwent a second surgery to have a filter inserted into a major vein to stop additional blood clots from entering her lungs. Serena didn’t learn her night nurse hadn’t pitched until she got home a week later.
Serena was unable to leave her bed for the first six weeks after becoming a mother, yet her husband still showed up.
Although Alexis was happy to change his daughter’s diaper, he found it difficult because he couldn’t assist his wife.