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Serena Williams is arguably the greatest tennis player of all time, male or female. After dominating the courts from age 14, the tennis champ who turned 42 today, is now facing a new challenge.
Williams started winding down her athletic career in 2017, when she married her husband Alex Ohanian and had their first daughter, Olympia.
In that same year, Williams won her last grand slam title. The former champion continued to compete up until 2022 when she said that that year’s US Open Tournament would be her last.
Williams lost in the third round and walked off into the sunset as a legend. Before her final match, Williams wrote in Vogue magazine that she did not like the word “retirement,” so instead she chose to say, “I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.”
Less than a year later, she gave birth to her second daughter, Adira, in August. Williams has since been adjusting from being a full-time athlete to a full-time mother of two. But the championship-winning drive to compete is still inside her.
Serena Williams gives birth to her second child: Adira River Ohanian pic.twitter.com/rdN1GOMo2k
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) August 22, 2023
In an X (Twitter) post, the 23-time Grand Slam champion described what it was like to go from being purpose-driven her whole life to where she is now. Williams said, “I’m not used to working out with no goal or to be honest – no championship in my mind. This is super weird.”
Fans had a solution for Williams: Unretire, or, as Williams might put it, “unevolve.”
“We miss you too much… Come back..”
“I mean you can always come back.”
“Well let’s put a championship to mind.”
Ohanian agreed with the fans, seemingly ready to be a super supportive househusband again.
The co-creator of Reddit commented under his wife’s post saying, “So….. you wanna go back on tour?” along with a gif of the scene from “Dumb and Dumber” where Jim Carrey’s character says, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance? YEAH!”
So….. you wanna go back on tour? pic.twitter.com/dOCl27LDjC
— Alexis Ohanian
(@alexisohanian) September 15, 2023
As Williams stated before, she never truly retired. After her evolution statement, the tennis legend told The San Francisco Standard last October that the chances she will pull a “Tom Brady” and return to the sport are very high.
If she does come back, she will have to face the woman who is following in her footsteps, Coco Gauff.
Gauff recently set the world ablaze after she beat the top-ranked female tennis player in the world at the US Open. The 19-year-old is in third place in the world rankings, and she is one of only three teenagers in the top 50.
After her Open victory, Gauff was compared to Williams, but she quieted that down when she said, “She’s the GOAT. I’d hope to do half of what she did. But I’m not gonna compare myself to her.”
Gauff continued her praise and said that Williams was her idol and that she was “happy to just be a product of her legacy.”
The Atlanta native also said, “The only regret I’ll have for the rest of my life is not being able to play her.”
If Williams is up to it, she can change that regret as they battle it out to see if the torch truly has been passed or if the elder player still has it.