Serena Williams opens up on life after tennis: “I don’t feel like I’ve left anything”
Many have wondered what Serena Williams’ life would be like after tennis. Widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes to ever compete, Williams won 23 Grand Slam titles during a career spanning nearly three decades.
Last year, Williams played at the US Open, which many assumed was her last match after she wrote an essay for Vogue magazine in which she suggested she was stepping away from tennis.
It didn’t end the way Williams had hoped. She lost in the third round to Ajla Tomljanovic.
The day after her loss, she woke up unhappy. Naturally the contestant, Williams told “CBS Mornings” co-host Gayle King that she wanted to win and keep going. But Williams also acknowledged that she gave it her all, even if it fell short.
Serena Williams of the United States spins as she waves to fans after losing to Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia in the third round of the US Open tennis championships, Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, in New York. John Minchillo/AP
“I never felt, I don’t feel like I left anything behind. But I just thought, ‘What could I have done better that day? ‘” Williams said.
It was her lifelong devotion to the game that made Williams think it was the right time to step away from tennis and devote her time and energy to her most important role: motherhood.
Williams is married to Reddit and venture capital firm 776 founder Alexis Ohanian. Together, the two have a 5-year-old daughter, Alexis Olympia, who Williams says wants to be a big sister.
“The other day she said, ‘Everybody has a brother or a sister, except me.’ And I’m like, ‘Olympia, I’m working on it. takes a little longer than expected,'” Williams recalled.
Fans have been able to see what Williams’ life is like as a mother on her social media pages, where she regularly posts videos of her life on the family farm in South Florida, where they grow fruits and vegetables. and raise chickens.
There’s also a tennis court on the farm, where Williams says she can watch and feel a sense of relief.
Serena Williams of the United States holds her daughter Alexis Olympia with the trophy after the Women’s Final between Serena Williams and Jessica Pegula of the United States on day seven of the 2020 ASB Women’s Classic at ASB Tennis Center on January 12, 2020 in Auckland, Nova Scotia. Zeeland. Getty
“I feel like I’m so happy, I don’t need to train for two hours today,” she said.
When she’s not on the tennis court and not at home with her family, she works at Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm that focuses on funding founders from diverse backgrounds.
“We need people like me. We need women who sign the checks because I’m really a big fan of look-alikes,” Williams said.
Investing is something she and Ohanian have in common. The couple met in 2015 and married two years later.
Ohanian refers to Williams as his “ride or die” and said when he met Williams he knew he had met his perfect match.
“I knew I had met someone who was always going to believe me explicitly, sometimes or implicitly, challenge me to be better,” he said.
For Williams, their marriage works because Ohanian is able to handle her self-described “relaxed but intense” personality.
Williams also makes time to work on side projects she believes in. She will be featured next week in a Michelob ULTRA Super Bowl commercial – in which she jokingly trades tennis for golf.
The commercial features other female athletes, which Williams says led her to film the commercial.
Williams broke barriers in the world of tennis when she was just 14 alongside her sister Venus. Their story was featured in the 2021 film, “King Richard.”
Serena and Venus Williams on 60 Minutes 03:47
Will Smith won his first Oscar for playing Serena’s father, Richard Williams, last year, but the moment came after he slapped presenter Chris Rock in the face.
Williams said she was able to look past that moment because she understood what it was like to be human and to make mistakes.
“We’re all imperfect and we’re all human, and let’s just be nice to each other. And I think that’s so often forgotten,” she said.
Widely regarded for her superhuman talent on the tennis court, Williams struggles to do what most people can easily do after a long day at work: relax.
But she said she makes sure to make time for it even as she enters this new period of evolution in her life.
“I literally gave my whole life to tennis. And it’s time for me to give my life to something else,” she said.