Serena Williams is preparing to say goodbye to tennis, the sport she dominated for over 25 years as a pro, and dedicate herself to her business and her family.
Williams reflected on her career and legacy in an essay published in Vogue magazine’s September issue, hinting that her retirement from tennis might be just a few weeks away—but without committing to a specific date or final event.
“I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me,” Williams wrote.
She said her future plans include a focus on family life and her role as founder and managing partner of Serena Ventures, the investment firm she launched in 2014 to focus on growing early-stage startups. Williams wrote about the excitement she feels working with her six-person, remote-based team, and poring over decks of companies she’s considering investing in.
Online learning platform Masterclass, plant-based food pioneer Impossible Foods, and nutritional app Noom are some of the businesses Serena Ventures has recently backed. She’s just getting started: this year, her firm announced raising $111 million for its inaugural fund.
Someone who looks like me needs to start writing the big checks. Sometimes like attracts like. Men are writing those big checks to one another, and in order for us to change that, more people who look like me need to be in that position, giving money back to themselves. —Serena Williams
Serena Williams’s tennis career, by the digits
4: Olympic gold medals, three of which were won in doubles competitions along with her sister Venus
17: Age at which she won her first US Open, in 1999
23: Grand Slam titles to her name
73: Singles titles won so far
186: Consecutive weeks ranked as Women’s Tennis Association’s number one player (out of a career total of 319)
$94,588,910: Total winnings
When Williams won the Australian Open in January 2017, she was two months’ pregnant with her daughter Olympia.