Serena Williams marked the end of an era earlier this month when she announced she was retiring from tennis – but she’s still not ready to confirm the US Open will be her last tournament.
The 23-time Grand Slam winner, 40, and her sister Venus Williams42, opened up about the new chapters in her life during an interview that aired on Friday’s Today Show.
Serena, who will face 80th-ranked Danka Kovinic in the first round of the US Open on Monday, was asked if the tournament would be her last following news of her impending retirement.
“I think so, but who knows?” She narrated to Today hosts Dylan Dreyer and Sheinelle Jones at the “A Conversation with Champions” event held at Lotte New York Palace on Thursday.
Serena Williams, 40, spoke to Today hosts Dylan Dreyer and Sheinelle Jones about her upcoming retirement at Thursday’s A Conversation with Champions event
The 23-time Grand Slam champion (pictured Thursday at practice) will face 80th-ranked Danka Kovinic in the first round of the US Open on Monday
The sisters were joined on stage by tennis stars Naomi Osaka, Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios ahead of the tournament, which will take place from August 29 to September 11.
When asked if she could envision playing at the Australian Open – the first major tournament of the year – in January 2023, Serena said: “I don’t think so.”
“You never know,” she added. “I’ve learned in my career never to say never.”
Serena announced her retirement in the September issue of Fashionsuggesting that she would retire from tennis after the US Open to focus on growing her family and her other business ventures, including investments.
When asked if it would be her last tennis tournament following the news of her impending retirement, Serena (pictured with sister Venus Williams) said: “I think so, but who knows?”
The Williams sisters were joined by fellow tennis stars Nick Kyrgios, Naomi Osaka and Rafael Nadal (left to right). Serena noted she doesn’t see herself playing the Australian Open in January, but added that she’s learned “never to say never”.
The mother-of-one said she wasn’t looking to break any records in the upcoming tournament, which will likely be her last. She is one big win away from tying Australian tennis player Margaret Court’s record for most Grand Slam titles.
“I’ve already broken the record,” she said. “So I think it’s just someone else’s vision and mine is just … I never dreamed of having that many Grand Slams or titles. I just figured I’d just play tennis and maybe win a grand slam or two. So for me it’s all a bonus.”
Dreyer and Jones continued their conversation with Serena and Venus during a private session after the event.
“This whole journey is going to be emotional,” Serena said. “I love what I do, there’s nothing wrong with not loving my job. I love it. I’ve been playing it my whole life. It is very emotional to develop into something new.”
Dreyer and Jones continued their conversation with the sister during a private meeting after the event. “This whole journey is getting emotional,” Serena admitted
Serena said that she and Venus rarely talk about tennis, but they did have a chat about what next year will look like for them
“It’s still a business, she still wants to play, she still wants to win,” Venus told Today of her younger sister’s retirement plans
Serena explained that in her Vogue cover story She and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, are trying to have another child. She shared that her four-year-old daughter Olympia was praying for a little sister.
She told Today that she “certainly” wants to have more children in the future.
“If you have a baby, it has to fit into your life, you shouldn’t change your life. And that’s hard,” she explained. “It’s super hard because so many things change, but even though those changes happen, they still have to fit into your life. You don’t want to just lose who you are.
“It’s like that for me, she fits into my life,” she added. “We do a lot of things together. We have a lot of fun and then it works.”
Serena’s current tournament earnings are $94.5 million, according to the — more than any other tennis player in history Ladies Tennis Association.
Serena (pictured after winning the Australian Open in 2017) has earned $94.5 million in prize money over the years, more than any other tennis player
Serena revealed in Vogue’s September issue that she will be retiring from tennis this year after the US Open
Serena (pictured with her four-year-old daughter Olympia) told Today that she “definitely” wants more children
She has earned more than double the second-highest earner, her sister Venus, whose career total is $42.2 million. Her tennis earnings will get another boost if she plays at the US Open as planned.
The athlete currently has over a dozen brand partnerships, her own fashion and jewelry lines, and a venture capital firm, Serena Ventures.
Serena said that she and Venus rarely talk about tennis, but they did have a chat about what next year will look like for them.
Venus also shared the advice she has for her younger sister following her retirement news.
Meghan Markle has hinted that she will be cheering for Serena (pictured at this month’s Western and Southern Open tournaments) at the US Open, which begins on August 29
The Duchess of Sussex, 41, spoke to Serena about the tournament during their conversation, which aired on the first episode of her Spotify podcast Archetypes
“We will have fun. We’ll make sure you get a good one,’ Meghan said to Serena. The Queen previously fired for her pal at the US Open women’s final in 2019 (pictured).
“It’s still a business, she still wants to play, she still wants to win,” she said today. “When she goes out on the pitch she wants to be focused – so now is the moment where she can do that, like all other moments, and when that moment is over, the next moment will be here. So that’s it.”
Regardless of whether the US Open is Serena’s last tournament or not, she plans to have a good time after the competition.
Her close friend Meghan Markle has hinted that she will be in New York to cheer her on during their chat, which aired on the first episode of the Spotify royal podcast, Archetypes.
“Yes, we will have fun. We’ll make sure you get a good one,” said the 41-year-old Duchess of Sussex.
“To the bar – to the bar. That’s something to do afterwards,” Serena added. “I only go out because I can never drink. Drink a glass of champagne. Maybe I’ll just do a few spins right out of the stadium.