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Serena Williams announces she’s “evolving away from tennis” in new ‘Vogue’ essay

Serena Williams is gearing up to say goodbye to professional tennis after serving up inspiration to the sports world for more than two decades.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner penned a new personal essay for Vogue magazine that was revealed exclusively on Good Morning America Tuesday. Titled “The Hardest Thing,” she says farewell to the game in her own way and in her own words.

Williams said she hates the word retirement, writing: “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.”

The former #1-ranked women’s tennis player and four-time Olympic gold medalist said there is “no happiness in this topic for me,” but that she wants to focus on family and her business investment empire. Williams explained that she doesn’t feel she can do that while also playing tennis.

“But these days, if I have to choose between building my tennis résumé and building my family, I choose the latter … In the last year, [husband] Alexis [Ohanian] and I have been trying to have another child, and we recently got some information from my doctor that put my mind at ease and made me feel that whenever we’re ready, we can add to our family. I definitely don’t want to be pregnant again as an athlete. I need to be two feet into tennis or two feet out,” Williams wrote.

Although this is the closest Serena’s come to a possible retirement, it’s not the end for the champ just yet. Williams recently scored her first tournament singles win in over a year at the WTA National Bank Open in Toronto and plans to play in the U.S. Open in New York City.

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