US OPEN – Ladies singles – Serena Williams: “I want to enjoy life while I can still walk”

US OPEN - Ladies singles - Serena Williams: "I want to enjoy life while I can still walk"

As she has always done over the past quarter century, Serena Williams gave it her all, right down to the last second of a match that lasted more than three hours. Even at 5-1 against her in the last set, she still believed in it. “I’ve done it before, come back like this. I’m not one to give up. ” We do not redo.

Finally defeated by a magnificent Ajla Tomljanovic (7-5, 6-7, 6-1), she then burst into tears during an interview on the court which turned into a speech, in which she notably paid a strong tribute and moving to his family. A farewell speech? Yes. No. Maybe. Most likely. The immense American champion revealed several weeks ago that she is going to retire. But on the “where” and especially the “when”, she never announced anything definitive even if, for everyone, the US Open was obvious given the timing and its link with the Grand Slam. New Yorker.

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Even this Friday night on the Arthur-Ashe court, she stayed on this line. “Will you reconsider your decision to retire?“, she was asked. Response of the person concerned: “I don’t think so, but you never know.“A few minutes later, in front of the press, she had fun maintaining a semblance of suspense. Come back?”I do not know. I do not think about it. But I’ve always loved Australia“, she said with a smile, implying a possible participation in the Australian Open next January.

Yes, I still feel capable, but there are plenty of other things

Besides her passion for her sport and her love of competition, what perhaps holds Venus’ little sister back is the fact that she still felt competitive. “I’ve come a long way since Wimbledon last year“, she recalls.

So leaving for a match as intense as the one against Tomljanovic is a more than worthy farewell, but it also leaves him with a hint of regret: “Every week I was playing better and better. If I had started again earlier, if I had played more matches, I would still be playing at a high level. But I only want to keep the positive. I don’t know if it was my last moment, but it was a different moment.

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However, all the rest of Serena Williams’ speech points to a permanent retirement after this US Open. What she says like what you can read between the lines. “Yes, I still feel capable, but there are plenty of other things.“The woman is ready to take over as champion full time. The mother, too:”I’m ready to be a mother, to explore another version of Serena. Technically, I’m still super young (she’ll be 41 on September 26). So I wanna enjoy life while I can still walk.”

She wants to devote more time to her five-year-old daughter Olympia, who we saw as a supporter in her box on the Arthur-Ashe this week. “I’m going to spend time with my daughter, Serena confirms. I have been with her almost every day of her life, apart from two or three days. But my career was complicated to manage for her. So it’ll be good to spend time with her and do things that we couldn’t do..”

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I can’t imagine not staying involved in this sport

In the very short term, she dreams of rest and “of karaoke. Saturday night, for sure, I do karaoke. ” Then will come, very quickly, the time for projects. In tennis or elsewhere. In tennis AND elsewhere, in all likelihood. But she does not envisage the rest of her existence without preserving, in one way or another. another, one foot, or even both, in its almost natural environment.

Tennis has held such a place in my life that I can’t imagine not staying involved in the sport.ensures the champion with 23 major titles. I don’t know how yet. But he brought me so much, I lived so many incredible moments thanks to tennis, that I don’t see my future without tennis. But how? I do not have the faintest idea…

One thing is certain, Serena Williams is not sad, even if she cried a lot on Friday evening. “But it’s not tears of sadness, it’s… I don’t know. I don’t even know how to describe it“, she says. She embraces the rest with more appetite than fear: “My future is so bright.”

She who has been so celebrated and honored in recent days, what would she like us to remember from Serena Williams? “There are so many things to remember me for…, she says without false modesty. For example the fight. I am such a fighter. I think I bring and I brought something to tennis. These different looks, clenched fists, crazy intensity. The right word for all of this is passion. Go through the good times and the bad.” Then this phrase that comes back: “I could go on, go on…“But his new life awaits him.

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