TENNIS

Serena Williams says she’s still not sure the US Open will be her last tennis tournament

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Serena Williams marked the end of an era earlier this month when she announced she would be retiring from tennis – but she is still not ready to confirm that the US Open will be her last tournament.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner, 40, and her sister Venus Williams, 42, opened up about the new chapters in their lives during an interview that aired on Friday’s episode of the Today show.

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Serena, who is set to face 80th-ranked Danka Kovinic in the first round of the US Open on Monday, was asked if the tournament would be her last following news of her upcoming retirement.

“I think so, but who knows? she told Today hosts Dylan Dreyer and Sheinelle Jones at the “A Conversation with Champions” event at Lotte New York Palace on Thursday.

Serena Williams, 40, spoke to Today’s hosts Dylan Dreyer and Sheinelle Jones about her upcoming retirement at ‘A Conversation with Champions’ event on Thursday.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner (pictured in training on Thursday) is set to face 80th-ranked Danka Kovinic in the first round of the US Open on Monday.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner (pictured in training on Thursday) is set to face 80th-ranked Danka Kovinic in the first round of the US Open on Monday.

The sisters were joined by fellow tennis stars Naomi Osaka, Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios on stage ahead of the tournament, which runs from August 29 to September 11.

When Serena was asked if she could see herself playing at the Australian Open in January 2023 – the first major tournament of the year – she replied: “I don’t think so.”

“You never know,” she added. “I learned in my career, never say never.”

Serena announced her retirement in the September issue of Vogue, saying she would be saying goodbye to tennis after the US Open to focus on growing her family and her other businesses, including investing.

When asked if this would be her last tennis tournament following the announcement of her upcoming retirement, Serena (pictured with her sister Venus Williams) replied:

When asked if this would be her last tennis tournament following the announcement of her upcoming retirement, Serena (pictured with her sister Venus Williams) replied: ‘I think so, but who knows?

The Williams sisters were joined by fellow tennis stars Nick Kyrgios, Naomi Osaka and Rafael Nadal (left to right).  Serena noted that she did not see herself playing at the Australian Open in January, but added that she had learned to

The Williams sisters were joined by fellow tennis stars Nick Kyrgios, Naomi Osaka and Rafael Nadal (left to right). Serena noted that she didn’t see herself playing at the Australian Open in January, but added that she had learned to “never say never”.

The mother of one said she doesn’t care about breaking any records in the next tournament, which will likely be her last. She is one major victory away from equaling Australian tennis player Margaret Court’s record for most Grand Slam titles.

“I’ve already broken the record,” she said. “So I think it’s just somebody else’s view and mine is just to…I never dreamed of having so many Grand Slams or titles. I just thought I was playing tennis and can -to be winning a Grand Slam or two. So for me, that’s quite a bonus.

Dreyer and Jones continued their conversation with Serena and Venus in a private session after the event.

“This whole journey is going to be emotional,” Serena said. “I love what I do, there’s nothing I don’t love about my job. I love it. I’ve been playing it all my life. It’s very emotional to evolve into something new.

Dreyer and Jones continued their conversation with the sister in a private meeting after the event.

Dreyer and Jones continued their conversation with the sister in a private meeting after the event. “This whole journey is going to be emotional,” Serena admitted.

Serena said she and Venus rarely talk about tennis, but they had a conversation about what next year will look like for her next year

Serena said she and Venus rarely talk about tennis, but they had a conversation about what next year will look like for her next year

Serena said she and Venus rarely talk about tennis, but they had a conversation about what next year will look like for her next year

“It’s still business, she still wants to play, she still wants to win,” Venus told Today of her younger sister’s retirement plans.

Serena explained in her Vogue cover that she and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, are trying for another child. She shared that their four-year-old daughter Olympia was praying for a little sister.

She told Today she “definitely” wants more children in the future.

“If you have a baby, he has to fit into your life, you shouldn’t change your life. And so it’s hard,” she explained. “It’s super difficult because there are so many things that change, but even if those changes happen, they still have to fit into your life. You don’t want to just lose who you are.

“So for me, it’s kind of like that, she fits into my life,” she added. “We do a lot of things together. We have a lot of fun, and then it works.”

According to the Women’s Tennis Association, Serena’s current earnings from tournament prize money are $94.5 million – more than any other tennis player in history.

Serena (pictured after winning the Australian Open in 2017) has earned $94.5m in prize money over the years, more than any other tennis player

Serena (pictured after winning the Australian Open in 2017) has earned $94.5m in prize money over the years, more than any other tennis player

Serena announced in the September issue of Vogue that she will be retiring from tennis after the US Open this year

Serena announced in the September issue of Vogue that she will be retiring from tennis after the US Open this year

Serena (pictured with her four-year-old daughter Olympia) told Today she wanted

Serena (pictured with her four-year-old daughter Olympia) told Today she ‘for sure’ wants to have more children

She earned more than double the second highest earner, her sister Venus, whose career total is $42.2 million. Her tennis earnings will increase if she plays the US Open as scheduled.

The athlete currently has more than a dozen brand partnerships, her own fashion and jewelry lines, and a venture capital firm, Serena Ventures.

Serena said she and Venus rarely talk about tennis, but had a conversation about what next year will look like for her.

Venus also shared the advice she has for her younger sister following her retirement announcement.

Meghan Markle has hinted that she will be cheering on Serena (pictured at the Western and Southern Open tournament this month) at the US Open, which starts on August 29.

Meghan Markle has hinted that she will be cheering on Serena (pictured at the Western and Southern Open tournament this month) at the US Open, which starts on August 29.

The Duchess of Sussex, 41, spoke to Serena about the tournament during their chat broadcast on the first episode of her Spotify podcast, Archetypes

The Duchess of Sussex, 41, spoke to Serena about the tournament during their chat broadcast on the first episode of her Spotify podcast, Archetypes

'We will have fun.  We'll make sure you get a good one,' Meghan told Serena.  The royal previously rooted for her friend in the US Open women's final in 2019 (pictured)

‘We will have fun. We’ll make sure you get a good one,’ Meghan told Serena. The royal previously rooted for her friend in the US Open women’s final in 2019 (pictured)

“It’s still business, she still wants to play, she still wants to win,” she told Today. “When she walks on the pitch, she wants to be focused – so that’s the moment for her to do that, like all the other moments, then when that moment is over, the next moment will be there. So that’s it.

Whether or not the US Open is Serena’s last tournament, she plans to have a great time after the competition.

Her close friend Meghan Markle hinted that she would be in New York to cheer her on during their chat which aired on the first episode of the Royal Family’s Spotify podcast, Archetypes.

‘Yes, we’re going to have fun. We’ll make sure you get a good one,’ the Duchess of Sussex, 41, said.

“At the bar…at the bar.” It’s something to do after, Serena added. “I just go out because I can never drink. Take a glass of champagne. Maybe I’ll just do a few twirls on my way out of the stadium.

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