After defeating Danka Kovinic of Montenegro in the US Open 2022 first round, 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams became the subject of the most conversation in the tennis community. Despite the fact that the major championship was supposed to be her final Grand Slam appearance, Serena admitted in the post-match interview that she is still “vague” about her decision to retire. The 40-year-old shocked the tennis community earlier this month when she revealed that she is transitioning away from the game.
Let’s know the fact behind this statement.
American tennis legend Serena Williams defeated Danka Kovinic of Montenegro in straight sets to kick up her US Open season. The tennis match was won by the American player 6-3, 6-3. As this event was viewed as Williams’ final swansong before she hangs up her racket, a galaxy of celebrities and tennis enthusiasts had assembled to witness Williams play her opening round encounter. After hinting at playing for longer in a recent interview, Williams has reportedly opted to continue playing tennis, according to Fox Sports.
Retirement isn’t what Williams envisioned for herself.
But Williams made one thing clear. Her evolution (retirement, she said, is not a word she likes to use) is not an easy decision; it’s not one she’s been able to talk about with anyone other than her therapist. This is not a simple ride into the sunset. No, it’s a more difficult decision that she really didn’t want to make.
Williams, one of the greatest and most accomplished athletes in the history of her or any other sport, said she does not like the word retirement and prefers to think of this stage of her life as “evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.”
Retirement is a natural transition stage in life.
I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. I’ve been thinking of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people. 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. A few years ago I quietly started Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm. Soon after that, I started a family. I want to grow that family.
Retirement is anchored into our idea of older adulthood with public policies that define, seemingly with Newtonian precision, when a worker is ‘old’ and to be retired —regardless of the type of work they do. There is no science to 65-years old being retirement age, it is simply a 19th-century legacy ratified by the sausage-making decision processes of legislatures and corporate boards.
Retirement is a time to focus on important things.
Why? For many it is about income, for others, it’s about satisfying the desire to do something with the many years in that life stage we currently call retirement. Even if you find joy cashing in your longevity dividend relaxing with a good book, or reading this article, it is time to evolve a new societal narrative that celebrates and enables all of us to define life and retirement on our terms. Or as Serena Williams defines her ‘retirement’ — to move “toward other things that are important to me.”
Retirement is generally considered to be “early” if it occurs before the age (or tenure) needed for eligibility for support and funds from the government or employer-provided sources. Early retirees typically rely on their own savings and investments to be self-supporting, either indefinitely or until they begin receiving external support. Early retirement can also be used as a euphemistic term for being terminated from employment before the typical retirement age.