Serena Williams looks with a neutral expression on her face

Serena Williams, 23-time grand slam women’s singles champion, hints at retirement from tennis

Serena Williams says she is “evolving away from tennis” as she hinted at retiring from the sport she dominated for much of her career with 23 women’s grand slam singles titles.

On Monday, Williams played only her second singles match since she returned to action at Wimbledon in June after a year-long absence from competition, beating Spain’s Nuria Parrizas Diaz in straight sets to reach the second round of the Toronto Open.

The 40-year-old won her last grand slam crown in 2017 and has been chasing an elusive 24th title that would see her draw level with Australia’s Margaret Court, who holds the record for most majors.

“I have never liked the word retirement,” Williams wrote in a Vogue article.

“It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. I’ve been thinking of this as a transition but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people.

“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.

“A few years ago I quietly started Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm. Soon after that, I started a family. I want to grow that family.”