'If I were a guy, I would not be retiring' Serena Williams tells Vogue. How true is that? (Pulse Editor's Opinion)

The Goat of Tennis, Serena Williams, 23x times Grand Slam Winner has announced that she is retiring from playing tennis after the US Open this year.

Serena Williams shares retirement notes with Vogue [Instagram/Vogue]

Serena Williams shared the reason why she would be retiring from tennis with Vogue Magazine;

"Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family. I don’t think it’s fair. 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 labour of expanding our family."

In other parts of the interview, she goes on to say how painful it is for her to retire, and you can literally feel her pain.

"But I’ve been reluctant to admit to myself or anyone else that I have to move on from playing tennis." She said.

Serena told Vogue, "I know it’s not the usual thing to say, but I feel a great deal of pain. It’s the hardest thing that I could ever imagine. I hate it. I hate that I have to be at this crossroads. I keep saying to myself, I wish it could be easy for me, but it’s not. I’m torn: I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next."

We think her real reason for retirement is a cumulation of issues like age, gender, family, and recent performances.

However, she is being attacked for attributing her retirement to her desire to get pregnant again and start a family. Something men do not have to deal with, according to her.

Even though, some men take breaks from their careers too to focus on their family - this occurrence is few and far between to be used as a reply to her statement.

It is true that nursing a baby and even a toddler requires time and devotion and has caused many women to put their life on hold but can it be said that it is the same for Serena Williams who can afford all the help in the world?

Serena admits that she loves being a present mom, “I’m not going to lie—I definitely have a lot of support. But I’m also an incredibly hands-on mother. My husband will tell you I am too hands-on. In five years, Olympia has only spent one 24-hour period away from me.”

The truth is, she has the option of surrogacy as she is not even getting younger, and childbirth might be difficult, considering the complications of the last baby, but one doesn’t just give birth and throw the baby aside to tour the world - even a surrogate baby - she might genuinely want to be with her baby (a privilege many working moms do not even have).

She wants to have a family, and she can’t see how it’ll go well with her career, that is valid. Even though, her choice to retire at 41 is still from a place of privilege - not many working mothers can quit their jobs because of their family economically speaking.

Serena might never admit out loud that her skill or talent might have waned and she is not capable of being the world's best over and over again. She won her last Grand Slam title in 2017. We can also recall how she lost ungraciously to Naomi Osaka in 2021.

No one above 40 plays sports professionally. The battle to retire isn’t easy, even Michael Jordan came out of retirement in 1995 at 34 for a brief stint, but age catches up with everyone, Ronaldo is facing his share of ridicule as he ages, he's 37 now.

You just need to know when to quit.

Tennis has been her life, and now to say goodbye is hard, but she must do so without resentment (and we think she isn't resentful) or she might view her next child as the sacrifice, the compromise she made to enjoy motherhood as the expense of her true love - tennis.

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