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National Bank Open Toronto - Day 3

Source: Vaughn Ridley / Getty

We don’t call Serena Williams the Greatest of all Time without reason. The 40-year-old athletic phenomenon has been ranked singles world No. 1 by the Women’s Tennis Association for 319 weeks, including a joint-record 186 consecutive weeks, and finished as the year-end No. 1 five times. According to Wikipedia, she has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any player in the Open Era and the second-most of all time (behind Margaret Court’s 24). With such impressive accolades on and off the court, the mother and entrepreneur decided to put down her tennis racket permanently.

Vogue announced their latest cover on Instagram, sharing a quote from the interview. “I have never liked the word retirement,” @serenawilliams tells Vogue. “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.”

“It’s the hardest thing that I could ever imagine,” she continues. “I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next.”

Williams has endured a lot throughout her 27-year career. Although she’s made major wins on the court, she was often criticized for her looks, size, and personal style. Despite the drama, the multi-hyphenate star used that energy to soar higher. The S by Serena designer has an extensive resume that includes more than just tennis. She’s made a significant transition into the fashion world with brand partnerships with Nike and Stuart Weitzman. When she’s not designing chic threads for her clothing line, she’s pouring back into her community with philanthropy work.

The 23-Grand Slam singles title holder might be closing the book on tennis, but she’s got a wealth of opportunity at her fingertips. We can’t wait to see what she embarks on next. You can read the full cover story here.

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Serena Williams Announces Tennis Retirement In Latest Vogue Cover Story  was originally published on hellobeautiful.com