Serena Williams ‘just had to stop’ playing tennis but teases: ‘I can definitely still come back’

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Serena Williams Never say Never.

The tennis legend sat down with sister Venus Williams in conversation with the actor Bradley Cooper at the A+E Networks and History Channel’s History Talks in Washington, DC this weekend.

In his role as interviewer, Cooper, 47, asked about Serena’s retirement plans after she announced in August that she was retiring from tennis to focus on her family. The 23-time Grand Slam winner played what might be her last game at the US Open in early September.

“I just had to stop,” Serena, 40, explained loudly diversity. “I’ve always said that when I’m playing really good tennis and I’m winning and beating good players, I want to quit. For me, it’s really about things I want to do spiritually and spending time with my daughter and family.”

“As a super hands-on mom, I can’t tell you how hard it was. I lost so many games after doing it [daughter] Olympia because it was so hard to stand on the pitch,” she continued. “I feel like I’ve given so much of my life to tennis, my whole life, that it’s time to do something different for me and work on other things as well.”

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Serena Williams attends the Michael Kors runway show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Highline Stages on September 14, 2022 in New York City.

Serena Williams attends the Michael Kors runway show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Highline Stages on September 14, 2022 in New York City.

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Serena then clarified that she made the decision to play tennis for now, not forever. “I feel like if I want to come back, I can definitely still come back,” she said.

Cooper also asked Venus, 42, and Serena what it’s like knowing they’ve changed the game of tennis.

“I want to do more for myself,” said Venus. “You want to get better every moment. It is never enough. If it was perfect, it wasn’t perfect enough.”

For her part, Serena added: “When you’re inside you can’t see it. It’s very different when you’re involved.”

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Serena Williams of the United States celebrates victory during the women's singles first round match against Danka Kovinic of Montenegro on day one of the 2022 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 29, 2022 in New York City

Serena Williams of the United States celebrates victory during the women’s singles first round match against Danka Kovinic of Montenegro on day one of the 2022 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 29, 2022 in New York City

Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty

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serena lost what was probably the last game of their legendary career at Arthur Ashe Stadium on September 2nd.

After a fight over three intense sets, the 23-time Grand Slam winner lost to Australian Ajla Tomljanović.

In her post-game interview, Serena got emotional as she thanked her parents, including her father Richard Williamsat the heart of the Oscar-winning film King Richard.

“Thanks, dad. I know you’re watching,” she said, breaking down in tears. “Thanks mom. Oh my god.”

“Thank you to everyone who is here, who has been on my side for so many years, decades. Oh my god, literally decades,” she added. “But it all started with my parents. And they deserve everything. So I am really grateful to them.”

Serena said she thinks her tears are “happy tears” and continued Credit to her big sister Venus for making her historic career possible.

“I wouldn’t be Serena if it wasn’t for Venus, so thank you Venus. She’s the only reason Serena Williams ever existed,” she said.

Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Richard Williams

Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Richard Williams

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Serena previously performed on September 13th The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallonwhere she was asked about her retirement.

Fallon, 48, asked: “There’s no chance you’ll pull one Tom Brady?” referring to the The short retirement of the Tampa Bay Buccaneer earlier this year. The tennis champion replied: “You know what? Tom Brady started an amazing trend.”

“That’s what I want to say,” the athlete then laughed.

After watching the interview, Serena’s husband Alexis Ohanian exclaimed Brady, 45, jokingly Twitter for putting the idea in her head.

“Age @TomBrady I’m trying to plan a family vacation here over the winter break…” he wrote.

TIED TOGETHER: Serena Williams teases return to tennis after retirement: ‘Tom Brady has started an amazing trend’

Ohanian, 39, penned a touching message for his legendary wife after the tennis champion announced that she would be “walking away” from the sport in August.

The Reddit co-founder shared a cute photo of herself and the couple’s 4-year-old daughter along with a heartfelt tribute to Serena’s career and legacy.

“I have seen over the last 7 years how much you love my wife – what she means to so many people around the world,” Ohanian wrote. “It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. A lot of people have told me ‘how Reddit changed their lives,’ but the scale and impact of the ‘how Serena changed my life’ stories absolutely dwarfs it.”

He continued, “And that’s exactly the stuff I hear when people come up to me to say hello. One cannot overstate the breadth and depth of the impact she has had on so many people. As far as I can tell, she has no idea. @serenawilliams doesn’t think about it or even realize it.”

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