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Acorn Newsmagazine

Acorn Newsmagazine

The Student News Site of Royal Oak High School

Acorn Newsmagazine

Tennis Icon Serena Williams Retires

Tennis+Icon+Serena+Williams+Retires

After advancing to the third round of the 2022 U.S. Open, 40-year-old tennis icon Serena Williams played the last professional tennis match of her career.  Williams’ retirement came after an unmatched 26 years of professional tennis. She leaves the sport with 23 Grand Slam singles titles – the most of any female or male player in the Open Era, and just shy of the all-time record held by Margaret Court. Williams has also won 14 doubles titles with her sister Venus, and 2 mixed doubles titles as well.

Williams, often referred to as “the GOAT” of tennis, is one of the world’s most well-known athletes. Many people are upset to see Williams retire, but were on hand to offer her a wealth of support and encouragement during the final tournament of her career.

Even though she has had an incredibly successful and record-breaking career, Williams explained that she is still not entirely ready to retire. In the September 2022 issue of Vogue, Williams explained how she was still not ready to leave tennis, and how she wanted to break Margaret Court’s record. She also discussed how she decided to leave in order to focus on her family and her business, Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests primarily in women and minority-owned companies.

Aside from being one of the most well-known tennis players of all time, Williams’ impact on the sport extends beyond setting records. ROHS tennis player Audrey Bruner explained that Williams has made a lasting impact on tennis and is “referred to by some as the best tennis player of all time.”

“Serena Williams has broken many records as a woman and a black woman,” she said. “Especially as a black player.”

Williams’ 1999 US Open singles win made her the second black female tennis player to win a Grand Slam title. She has since become an inspiration to so many rising tennis stars, including Naomi Osaka, the first Asian tennis player to achieve a number 1 ranking. William is also inspiring to many women and girls, showing how much one can accomplish when they are dedicated and don’t let criticism stop them, and reminding women that they can be professional athletes, mothers, and entrepreneurs all at once.

Williams’ level of dedication to tennis is reflected in the longevity of her career. She and her sister Venus, have been focused on tennis for most of their lives. The sisters were born and raised in Compton, California, where they trained on public courts. Their parents started teaching them tennis at a very young age, and their father coached them, pushing them to become strong and respected tennis players. Serena turned pro at age 14 in 1995, but because of age restrictions, she encountered some challenges. She then waited until 1997 before re-entering the world of professional tennis. She started her career in the shadow of her sister Venus, who had already shown herself to be a promising player, but Serena quickly proved to everyone that she was not just Venus’ little sister. At the Ameritech Cup in 1997, she defeated players ranked seventh and fourth in the world among women, while she herself was unranked. After that, she continued to win more and more, becoming the record breaker fans know her to be today and widely heralded as the best female tennis player of all time.

Williams hopes to be an inspiration for future athletes.

“I’d like to think that thanks to opportunities afforded to me, women athletes feel that they can be themselves on the court,” she explained in the Vogue article. “They can play with aggression and pump their fists. They can be strong yet beautiful. They can wear what they want and say what they want and kick butt and be proud of it all.”

Even though she was no longer ranked number one at the end of her career, the crowds at the U.S. Open cheered for Williams, showing her the lasting impact she would leave on the sport. While she is moving on from the sport, but the game changing transformation she has made on tennis will continue to impact future generations of players and fans.

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About the Contributor
Tessa Abrutyn, Reporter
Hi! My name is Tessa Abrutyn and I am a senior at Royal Oak High School. I am a reporter for Acorn and currently in my second year. Outside of the newsmagazine I enjoy reading, sleeping, and watching tv. I love my dog, Caramel. I am also a part of the girls varsity tennis team. I’m so excited for my last year at ROHS!!!

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