August 10, 2022
Serena Williams has played her last Wimbledon – so it’s time to salute the extraordinary Queen of Tennis.
The all-time-great has just indicated that this year’s US Open will probably be her last Grand Slam event.
After that, she will focus on being a mother and a dynamic, creative business woman.
Williams calls it “evolution” because she doesn’t like the word retirement.
That’s the sort of positive thinking that made Serena such a winner on grass and every other surface.
You can bet life will never be dull for Serena Williams.
Wimbledon will also adapt to her absence and maintain the excitement as we prepare to witness future champions come of age.
Of course, we will all miss the seven-times Wimbledon singles winner and the sheer power of the woman with a charisma that simply transcended the sport.
Wimbledon enjoyed the stardust when Serena came to town. She also took women’s tennis to a whole new level.
And now the new giants of tennis will take centre stage and ultimately aspire to similar heights.
Serena Williams calling time on her own title dreams leaves the way open for a new superstar to dazzle at Wimbledon 2023.
Will it be Emma Raducanu or Iga Swiatek? Or maybe another surprise winner awaits us next summer.
Coco Gauff has called Serena the reason she is playing tennis. That is just one vivid example of her legacy.
The history books will claim that Margaret Court is the most successful player of all time with her 24 Grand Slam titles.
But Serena’s 23 majors took even more dedication and physical prowess to secure – because her epic battles were fought and won in the modern era.
Williams felt the weight of history on her shoulders as she sought to draw level with the controversial Australian. It probably harmed her last few showpiece performances when it mattered.
And Serena’s final two Wimbledon appearances were painful affairs in different ways.
Her injury on Centre Court two years ago brought so much anguish that we all felt her agony that day.
And this summer, one last Centre Court victory appeared within her grasp before she was overrun and forced to wave farewell to an adoring crowd.
Serena Williams must have known right then that it was probably all over for her at the All England Club.
The timing is right to leave the greatest stage of all.
And now we can reflect upon her many, more successful performances.
Some of us remember when she first began to step out from the vast shadows created by her awesome elder sister, Venus.
Gradually we realised that Serena had the greater power and ferocity when it came to the crunch.
Serena Williams never looked back after clinching her first Wimbledon title by beating Venus in 2002.
She won it again the following year and was always in contention thereafter. Her final two victories in 2015 and 2016 offered no hint that she would never lift the trophy again.
We’ll miss The Queen of Tennis at Wimbledon 2023.
Both will embrace the future in their different ways next summer.