August 09, (THEWILL) – After a career total of 39 Grand Slam wins and a record 23 Grand Slam singles titles throughout a 27-year long professional career, one of tennis undisputed “Greatest Of All Time”, Serena Williams, is bowing out.
The 40-year-old, who also won two mixed doubles championships with Max Mirnyi and 14 women’s doubles trophies alongside her sister, Venus, also twice held the title of champion of all four Grand Slams simultaneously in 2003 and 2015 as BR noted, dominating the women’s tennis landscape like a Colossus.
Williams turned pro in 1995 at the age of 14. Over the following few years, she achieved some significant victories, including victories over tennis greats like Lindsay Davenport and Monica Seles. After five WTA singles victories, she made a breakthrough in 1999, capturing her first Grand Slam at the US Open.
After winning Wimbledon in 2002, she rose to the top of the women’s tennis rankings three years later. Over the years 2002 and 2003, she had a singles record of 94-8 and captured 12 titles. She also triumphed in five of the six Grand Slam tournaments in which she participated, with the 2003 French Open semifinal appearance being the lone exception.
Williams’ career has also been distinguished by her ability to regain her peak form after taking a break to focus on her mental health or recover from a catastrophic injury. Each time she returned, she again distinguished herself as the superb player she was.
She needed surgery for a quadriceps tendon injury she had late in 2003. Before coming back, she had been absent for eight months. In 2004, she won twice on the circuit, and less than a year after making a comeback, she won the Australian Open.
Williams took a break from the sport in 2006 to attend to her mental health. She won the 2007 Australian Open and advanced to the quarterfinals of all four Grand Slam tournaments a year later. She says she had despair while she was absent in 2010 due to a foot ailment that kept her from working for the rest of the year.
Williams experienced a hematoma and a pulmonary embolism in 2011. She started what is likely the greatest winning streak in tennis history the next year, going 126-11 in games and 273-33 in sets during the course of 2012 and 2013. Notably, she finished 2013 with a record of 78-5 (matches) and 160-15 (sets), winning 11 trophies (including two majors).
Yet, the feat Williams accomplished in her return to tennis after becoming pregnant may have been her most impressive one.
She had a C-section in September 2017 after experiencing a pulmonary embolism during labour. After giving birth to her daughter, she then experienced a second pulmonary embolism, which forced her to spend six weeks in bed.
After what was a trying period of recovery, she started playing competitive tennis again in February 2018 and over the following four years, she went 72-28 in singles matches, reaching the Wimbledon and US Open finals in 2018 and 2019. Williams also advanced to the semi-finals of the 2020 US Open and the 2021 Australian Open.
Writing for Vogue, Williams stated that she was ready to begin the next phase of her life, concentrating on expanding her family and venture capital company. She claims that leaving tennis will hurt and it is a sentiment that her wide variety of falls will share and one that they will understand.
Williams’ resume and tenacity speak for themselves, and her professional tenure has been nothing short of legendary. After nearly three decades of dedicated pursuit of excellence, Williams retires from the sport as one of its best ever.