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'You're blessed to have CHOICE': Serena Williams' 'if I were a guy' retirement remark splits Internet

'If I were a guy, I’d be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labor of expanding our family,' Serena said
UPDATED AUG 10, 2022
'Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution,' says Serena Williams while announcing her retirement from Tennis (Photo: @Voguemagazine, @Serena Williams/Instagram)
'Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution,' says Serena Williams while announcing her retirement from Tennis (Photo: @Voguemagazine, @Serena Williams/Instagram)

MIAMI, FLORIDA: Sarena Williams, the most fascinating tennis player who revolutionized women's tennis and a 23-time grand slam singles champion, declared on Tuesday, August 9 that she is retiring from professional tennis, stating she will "evolve away from tennis," after the upcoming US Open.

The 40-year-old Williams described her decision to end her playing career as an "evolution" away from tennis in a column she wrote for Vogue. She wrote, "I have never liked the word retirement." She continued, "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."


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Williams posted a picture of the cover of her September issue on Instagram along with the caption, "Vogue. September issue Cover. There comes a time in life when we have to decide to move in a different direction. That time is always hard when you love something so much. My goodness do I enjoy tennis. But now, the countdown has begun. I have to focus on being a mom, my spiritual goals and finally discovering a different, but just exciting Serena. I'm gonna relish these next few weeks."

Williams claims that retiring would not make her happy and that making a decision has been difficult. "I’ve been reluctant to admit to myself or anyone else that I have to move on from playing tennis," she said. "Alexis, my husband, and I have hardly talked about it; it’s like a taboo topic. I can’t even have this conversation with my mom and dad. It’s like it’s not real until you say it out loud. It comes up, I get an uncomfortable lump in my throat, and I start to cry." She continued, "I know that a lot of people are excited about and look forward to retiring, and I really wish I felt that way." 

Serena Ventures, Williams' venture capital firm, was established during the last few years off the court as part of her preparation for the day she decided to move on. Serena Ventures also made investments in a number of organizations. She clarified, however, that her desire to grow her family even further is one of the main reasons she is retiring. Alexis Olympia, Williams' first child, was born in 2017.

In her Vogue column, Williams wrote that she never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family as she feels it is not fair. She said, "If I were a guy, I wouldn’t be writing this because I’d be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labor of expanding our family."  Although she says she enjoys being a woman and adore being pregnant, she continued "A lot of people don’t realize that I was two months pregnant when I won the Australian Open in 2017." 

Williams stirs gender debate with 'if I were a guy' remark 

Her remark 'If I were a guy' has sparked a gender debate on social media. A Twitter user wrote, "So you are mad at your biology? at choice? At Men? At Higher power? “Can’t make this s___ up!” How about your blessed to have choice, a family, children, to have been the greatest female tennis player of all time. I swear people have privilege and make it sound like tragedy." One user wrote, "Don’t like how she complained about not being a guy what’s wrong with being a women if you are born one?? but shows motherhood becomes more important then anything at the end of the day." One debated, "No; find and read her entire quote, she values her husband and her daughter ABOVE a profession in which at 41 she has seen her better days. Plus she wants to give her daughter a sibling." "If you married a strong man who could continue to grow your family, this wouldn’t be an issue. Tom Brady continues to play because he has a strong wife behind him. Just pointing out a simple inconvenient fact," wrote another. One user wrote, "The greatest accomplishment & contribution that women can make, have ever made, or will ever make, is motherhood."






Serena Williams rules the tennis world

Williams became a professional in 1995 at the age of 14 after learning tennis from her father on the public tennis courts in Los Angeles, and as a teenage sensation, she won her first grand slam championship at the US Open at the age of 17. She and her sister, Venus, created one of the best doubles teams in history, winning 14 grand slam women's doubles titles. Being the first female African American grand slam champions since Althea Gibson in 1958 gives their accomplishments even more significance. They have both dominated a sport that is largely played by white, upper-class people and is considered excessively expensive.

Williams has won an Open-era record 23 grand slam singles titles throughout the course of a legendary career that has lasted almost three decades since its beginnings on the public courts of Compton, California. She has also earned a total of $94,588,910 in prize money and much more in sponsorships. Williams came shy of Margaret Court's less significant 24-record, which was the all-time high. She has also won two mixed doubles grand slam titles in 1998 along with four Olympic gold medals, three of which were in doubles, The Guardian reported.

Williams said in her lengthy, emotive article for Vogue that she wasn't sure whether she would ever play tennis again after suffering a hamstring injury at Wimbledon last year and taking a year off. She explained that she spoke to her friend Tiger Woods for advice on her tennis career and how it helped her to be back on practice courts and 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." 

Disclaimer: This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.