In a sport where the average professional tennis player might retire around 30 (especially when they’re starting a family), Serena Williams doesn’t plan to hang up her racket any time soon. Though the tennis phenom used to consider motherhood her time to get off the courts, she recently revealed in a Vogue interview that she plans to keep playing after she has her first baby that’s due this fall.
On hearing the news of her pregnancy, many fans figured the already 35 year old would be focusing more on diapers than her tennis stroke and that motherhood marked the end of her career. But rather than nesting, it sounds like Williams is keeping one foot in the game while she intently watches the Wimbledon games. She explains to Vogue’s Rob Haskell, “I learn by watching.”
From what it sounds like, Williams’ decision to stay in the game after having a baby may even be a surprise to her. She explains, “It’s hard to figure out what the end of your tennis career should look like. I used to think I’d want to retire when I have kids, but no. I’m definitely coming back. Walking out there and hearing the crowd, it may seem like nothing. But there’s no better feeling in the world.”
Referring to tennis great, Margaret Court, who won 3 of her 24 grand slam titles one year after giving birth to her first child - Williams knows she’s in good company when she decides to keep playing. In fact, Court who is now 74 inspires healthy competition for Williams who is just one title away from Court’s 24 title career. She says, “Obviously, if I have a chance to go out there and catch up with Margaret, I am not going to pass that up. If anything, this pregnancy has given me a new power.”
What do you think of Serena Williams’ decision to keep playing after having a child?
Do you think Williams can surpass legend Margaret Court’s 24 grand slam title record?