Serena Williams has done it all in tennis, but there is so much more to come

Editor’s note: The new CNN documentary “Serena Williams: On Her Terms” chronicles her early beginnings in Compton, California, to her epic rise to international prominence. The film premieres Sunday, September 11 at 8:00 PM ET.



CNN

Twenty-seven years of professional touring, 23 Grand Slam singles titles and a host of records; Serena Williams leaves tennis as one of the greatest players to ever grace the court.

After losing to Ajla Tomljanovic at this year’s US Open, the American bid an emotional farewell to the sport she has helped shape over the past two decades.

Given her impeccable standards, it wasn’t the fairytale ending she probably would have wanted, but the reaction of those in Arthur Ashe Stadium was further proof of how important Williams has been to the game. .

All week at the US Open, players and fans have been sharing stories of how their lives have influenced their own, and appreciation has been shown through banners in the stands and messages on social media social.

The 40-year-old closes the final chapter of her remarkable career having won an astonishing 39 Grand Slam titles: 23 singles titles, 14 doubles titles and two mixed doubles titles.

However, Williams finishes one Grand Slam singles title short of Australia’s Margaret Court’s all-time record, but it is something she says she is more than accepting of.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want this record. Obviously, I do,” Williams wrote when announcing her upcoming retirement to Vogue.

“Should, should, could.” I didn’t present myself the way I should have or could have. But I showed up 23 times, and that’s fine. It’s actually extraordinary.”

Serena Williams bids a tearful farewell to fans after losing to Ajla Tomljanovic at the US Open.

Alongside her sister Venus, Serena Williams has inspired a generation of young people to pick up a racket and leave an indelible mark on the sport.

The pair have inspired Hollywood, particularly the movie “King Richard,” which showed the dedication and focus it takes the entire Williams family to produce two of the best players to ever walk the court.

Their father, Richard Williams, is the focus of this film, and as their coach, he trained them hard in the run-down public courts of 1990s Compton, Los Angeles. It was a mentorship that laid the foundation for their careers and inspired others from all walks of life to believe.

“I think she [Williams’] The legacy is so vast that you can’t even put it into words,” four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka said when describing Serena Williams’ influence ahead of the US Open.

“He changed the sport a lot. He introduced people to the sport who had never heard of tennis.

“I think I’m a product of what she’s done. I wouldn’t be here without Serena, Venus, her whole family. I’m, like, so grateful to her.”

Williams;’ The professional debut came in 1995, when she was defeated by Annie Miller when she was only 14 years old.

She developed quickly and did not have to wait long for silver, claiming her first Grand Slam singles title in 1999 at the US Open.

It was a trophy he would win five more times as he toured the world entertaining thousands of fans as he did so.

In total, he won seven singles titles at Wimbledon, three at the French Open and seven at the Australian Open to become arguably the biggest name in the sport worldwide.

He won over generations of tennis players with his often unstoppable power and mental fortitude. In his prime, he was unplayable; only she could beat herself.

Serena Williams celebrates winning the 1999 US Open against Martina Hingis.

Some of the biggest names in the sport have been paying tribute to Williams and her achievements during the US Open. After Friday’s loss, four-time NBA champion LeBron James posted a video on Twitter congratulating Williams on her accomplishments.

“Whoa, where do I start?” he said “First of all, I’ll start by congratulating you on an incredible career. You are a GOAT. What you’ve done for the sport of tennis, what you’ve done for women, and what you’ve done for the category of sports, period, is unprecedented.

“It’s been an honor to watch your journey, to see you conquer every goal you’ve set for yourself, to see you break records, to see you be incredible and transcendent not only on the tennis court, but off it as well.

“I can literally sit here and talk about your trip and just talk about watching you from afar and talk about our relationship now for an hour, but I don’t want to bore you too much with things you already know. So I just want to give— Thank you for being such an inspiration to so many.”

In a tweet, 15-year golf winner Tiger Woods said: “You are literally the best on and off the course. Thanks for inspiring us all to chase our dreams. Love you little sister!!! !!!

Former US President Barack Obama said: “Congratulations, Serena, for your heart, skill, intelligence, dedication and grace. Few athletes have inspired more people both within and beyond their sport!”

However, as she reached the twilight of her career, the ever-present Grand Slam favorite had to take on a new role, one she was less familiar with.

Since returning from a hiatus after the birth of her daughter, Williams was no longer the unstoppable player she once was.

The heart was there, of course, and there were more than enough flashes of magic to make you believe a Grand Slam 24 was possible, but ultimately the challenge was too great.

In fact, though, it’s remarkable that Williams even played the court after what turned out to be a deadly experience giving birth.

Her daughter Olympia was born by emergency C-section, and while the surgery went smoothly, Williams suffered complications afterward.

“It started with a pulmonary embolism, which is a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs are blocked by a blood clot,” he wrote on CNN.

“Because of my medical history with this problem, I live in fear of this situation. So when I ran out of air, I didn’t wait a second to alert the nurses.

“This led to a bunch of health complications that I’m lucky to have survived. First, my c-section wound opened up because of the intense coughing I had as a result of the embolism.

“I went back into surgery, where the doctors found a large hematoma, a swelling of clotted blood, in my abdomen. And then I went back to the operating room for a procedure that prevents clots from traveling to my lungs.

“When I finally got home to my family, I had to spend the first six weeks of my pregnancy in bed.”

Williams has become a fan favorite around the world.

It is a story of resilience that is a microcosm of his career.

Williams has always found a way to keep going, battling multiple injuries and playing while suffering from postpartum depression.

That is why she will be remembered for much more than her tennis achievements and endorsement deals.

Throughout her life, Williams has sacrificed everything for her profession – ultimately what made her one of the greatest and most memorable athletes in the world – but now she is ready to “evolve” away from a sport

According to Reuters, Williams earned more than $94 million in prize money, but an estimated $340 million was earned through endorsements, and its sponsorship deals are likely not to end.

Her retirement will now give her more time to devote to business and she is keen to give back through her roles as an ambassador for the charity.

And while Williams will undoubtedly have a successful career after tennis, the sport will suffer without her on tour.

“I’m terrible with goodbyes, the worst in the world. But please know that I am more grateful to you than words can ever express,” she wrote in her Vogue article.

“You’ve led me to so many victories and so many trophies. I’m going to miss that version of me, that girl who played tennis. And I’m going to miss you.”

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