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Serena Williams says she’s not retired and the chances of her returning to tennis are “very high”


Serena Williams appeared to announce her plans to retire earlier this year, but the tennis superstar and businesswoman recently revealed she is “not retired.” During a talk at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, Williams said the chance of her returning to the sport are “very high.”

At the conference for startup companies, Williams and her business partner, Alison Rapaport Stillman, sat down with TechCrunch Editor-in-Chief Jordan Crook to talk about their investment firm, Serena Ventures. 

Crook started by asking Williams about the U.S. Open she competed in last month, which many assumed would be her last ever.

In August, Williams penned an essay for Vogue magazine where she suggested she would retire after the U.S. Open.

Willams told Crook since her last match, she threw herself into Serena Ventures. “It was really great because I didn’t really even think about the whole retirement — I still haven’t really thought about it,” she said. “But I did wake up the other day and I went on the court and I was like, ‘Oh, for the first time I’m on the court and I’m not playing for competition.’ And it was really weird.”

She said it felt like the first day of the rest of the life — which she is enjoying — but she’s still trying to find a “balance.” 

Crook began asking about the Vogue essay, pointing out that Williams wrote that she was “evolving” away from tennis, not retiring. “Well, I’m not retired,” Williams said. 

“It sounded like you were on the fence about it at the U.S. Open,” Crook said. “I know you haven’t thought about it… but what are the chances we see you play again?”

“The chances are very high,” Williams said, adding that she has a court at her house, which made the crowd laugh.

Widely considered the greatest tennis player of all time, Williams has won 23 Grand Slam titles over a nearly three-decade career. 

The 41-year-old, who is mom to 5-year-old daughter Olympia, also spoke to Crook about balancing motherhood and business, admitting she is bad at prioritizing herself ahead of career and family. 

“But at the same time, I’m so happy. I really want my daughter and my family to be ahead of me. It’s interesting how women think, and I like that we think that way and I think that’s what makes us so special,” she said. 

Serena Ventures has raised $111 million over the past year. Williams said her attitude as a venture capitalist is calm and chill, living up to her “serene” namesake. She also said she doesn’t talk about business with her husband Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, to avoid competition. 



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