Serena Williams: US star reveals Tiger Woods offered advice on retirement

Serena Williams, Tiger Woods

Serena Williams has revealed that Tiger Woods gave her advice on retiring after announcing that she’s “evolving away from tennis,” following this year’s US Open. 

The 40-year-old made the admission in a feature article for Vogue magazine, where she opened up on how hard it’s been to make the decision. 

Williams is one of the finest tennis players of all time and has won 23 major singles titles during her career. 

The former world number one has been chasing a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam victory since 2017 but it now appears the US Open will be the last chance for Williams to match Margaret Court’s remarkable feat. 

Woods offers Williams advice

Speaking in Vogue, Williams stressed the influence of Woods in helping her come to a decision on her future. 

Woods, who has won 15 golf majors during his career, has faced similar dilemmas concerning retirement of late, but has not yet stepped away from the game for good. 

“This spring, I had the itch to get back on the court for the first time in seven months,” Williams said.  

“I was talking to Tiger Woods, who’s a friend, and I told him I needed his advice on my tennis career.

Tiger

“I said, ‘I don’t know what to do: I think I’m over it, but maybe I’m not over it.’ He’s Tiger, and he was adamant that I be a beast the same way he is! 

“He said, ‘Serena, what if you just gave it two weeks? You don’t have to commit to anything. You just go out on the court every day for two weeks and give it your all and see what happens.’

“I said, ‘All right, I think I can do that.’ And I didn’t do it. But a month later, I gave it a try. And it felt magical to pick up a racket again. And I was good. I was really good. I went back and forth about whether to play Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open after that. As I’ve said, this whole evolution thing has not been easy for me.” 

Williams to play at US Open 

After more than a year away from the court, the American made her singles at Wimbledon, though she suffered a first-round exit to France’s Harmony Tan.

The 40-year-old admitted she wasn’t capable of winning the event and while the same might be the case at Flushing Meadows, she is prepared to give it her all.

“Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready to win Wimbledon this year,” Williams wrote. “And I don’t know if I will be ready to win New York. But I’m going to try. And the lead-up tournaments will be fun.” 

Tennis legend Serena Williams

Williams made it clear she is not looking for a huge send-off in New York, yet still wants everyone to know how appreciative she is for all the support.

“I’m not looking for some ceremonial, final on-court moment,” she continued. “I’m terrible at goodbyes, the world’s worst. But please know that I am more grateful for you than I can ever express in words. You have carried me to so many wins and so many trophies. I’m going to miss that version of me, that girl who played tennis. And I’m going to miss you.”

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