Many have wondered what Serena Williams’ life after tennis would look like. Widely considered one of the greatest athletes to ever compete, Williams has won 23 Grand Slam titles over a nearly three-decade career.
Last year, Williams played in the U.S. Open, which many assumed was her last match after she penned an essay for Vogue magazine where she suggested she was evolving away from tennis.
It didn’t end the way Williams had hoped. She lost in the third round to Ajla Tomljanovic.
The morning after her loss, she woke up not happy. Naturally the competitor, 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.
“I’ve never felt, I don’t feel like I’ve left anything. But I just felt like, ‘What could I have done better that day,'” Williams said.
It was her lifelong devotion to the game that caused Williams to feel like 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 said is eager to become a big sister.
“The other day she’s like, ‘Everyone has a brother or a sister but me.’ And I’m like, ‘Olympia, I’m working on it. Mommy worked a little too long in tennis, so it’s takin’ a little longer than expected,'” Williams recalled.
Fans have gotten to see what Williams’ life as a mom looks like on her social media pages, where she regularly posts videos of her life at her family’s farm in South Florida, where they grow fruits and vegetables and raise chickens.
There’s also a tennis court on the farm, where Williams said she can look and feel a sense of relief.
“I feel like I’m so happy, I don’t have to train for two hours today,” she said.
When she’s not on the tennis court and not at home with her family, she’s working on Serena Ventures—a venture capital firm that is focused on funding founders with diverse backgrounds.
“We need people like me. We need women writing the checks because I really am a big believer in like attracts like,” said Williams.
Investing is something that she and Ohanian have in common. The pair met in 2015 and were 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 explicitly believe me, 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 yet intense” personality.
Williams is also taking the time to work on side projects she believes in. She will be featured next week during a Michelob ULTRA Super Bowl commercial —in which she jokingly trades tennis for golf.
The commercial features other female athletes, which Williams said is what drew her to film the ad.
Williams broke barriers in the tennis world when she was just 14 years old alongside her sister Venus. Their story was featured in the 2021 film, “King Richard.”
Will Smith won his first Oscar for portraying Serena’s father, Richard Williams, last year—but the moment came after he slapped presenter Chris Rock in the face.
Williams said she has been able to look past that moment because she understands what it’s like to be human and make mistakes.
“We’re all imperfect and we’re all human, and let’s just be kind to each other. And I think that’s so that’s often forgotten a lot,” she said.
Largely regarded for her superhuman-like talent on the tennis court, Williams is having a rough time doing what most people easily can do after a long day of work: relax.
But she said she’s making sure she makes time for it even as she embarks on this new evolutionary period in her life.
“I’ve literally given my whole life to tennis. And it’s time for me to give my life to something else,” she said.
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