Serena Williams Tells Bradley Cooper She "Definitely Can Still Come Back" to Tennis

Tennis' G.O.A.T. may not be gone forever.

Serena Williams may have recently retired from the sport, but the athlete admitted she's not opposed to returning at some time in the future.

"I feel like if I want to come back, I definitely can still come back," she told Bradley Cooper during an A+E Networks and the History Channel History Talks event in Washington D.C. on Sept. 24, according to Variety.

For now, Serena, 40, is comfortable with her decision to hang up her racquet, explaining she "just needed to stop."

"I always said I wanted to stop when I'm playing really good tennis and winning and beating good players," she said. "For me, it's really about things I want to do spiritually and spending time with my daughter and family."

Serena welcomed daughter Olympia in 2017 with husband Alexis Ohanian.

"As a super hands-on mom, I can't tell you how hard it was. I lost so many matches after I had Olympia because it was so hard to be on the court," she continued. "I feel like I've given so much of my life to tennis, my entire life, that it's time to do something different for me and also work on other things."

Serena Williams Through the Years

In August, the four-time Olympic gold medalist announced she's saying goodbye to the sport after one last tournament.

Serena Williams, Bradley Cooper
Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

"I have never liked the word retirement," she wrote in a cover story for Vogue's September 2022 issue. "It doesn't feel like a modern word to me. I've been thinking of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people. Maybe the best word to describe what I'm up to is evolution. I'm here to tell you that I'm evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me."

She continued, "There is no happiness in this topic for me. I know it's not the usual thing to say, but I feel a great deal of pain. It's the hardest thing that I could ever imagine. I hate it. I hate that I have to be at this crossroads. I keep saying to myself, I wish it could be easy for me, but it's not. I'm torn: I don't want it to be over, but at the same time I'm ready for what's next."

On Sept. 2, Serena played what was believed to be her final professional match at 2022 U.S. Open, losing to Australian player Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round.

Serena Williams, Wimbledon
Rob Prange/Shutterstock

However, just days later, she implied that there may be hope for her return to the game after Jimmy Fallon asked if she would ever "pull a Tom Brady" and unretire.

"You know what? Tom Brady started an amazing trend," she shared on The Tonight Show Sept. 13. "That's what I'm gonna say."

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