Sports

Tennis Legends Serena Williams and Roger Federer Leave the Courts Forever

By: Hayden Levine

After winning 20 or more grand slams, Serena Williams and Roger Federer have announced their retirement from professional tennis.

Serena Williams played for 27 years, winning 23 grand slam titles, four olympic gold medals, and she held the Number 1 ranking for 6 years. Williams and her sister Venus were raised in Compton, CA and were trained by their parents, Richard Williams and Oracene Price. Then, they continued training at the Rick Macci Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida until they went professional. 

Photo courtesy of time.com

In an interview with Vogue, Serena Williams explained what most people don’t think about. If she were a man she would not have to choose between tennis and family. She revealed that she won the Australian Open in 2017 while she was two months pregnant. Williams has completely changed the game of tennis especially for Black women. During her career, she has been consistent in speaking out about social justice and equality. She also made history by winning 10 Grand Slam titles after turning 30 years old.

As much as Williams wanted to play the past two years, she has had some serious injuries. She tore her hamstring at Wimbledon in 2021 which ultimately led to being off the court for a year. She also withdrew from the French Open in 2020 because of an Achilles-tendon problem. 

Williams says that she does not want to move on from tennis and it is an extremely hard topic to talk about. She admits that she is torn and is not sure if she is ready to move on, but at the same time she’s ready for what’s next.

While Williams left a little hope for fans that she might come back next year, Federer made it extremely clear he is done with professional tennis.

In 2001, when Federer was 19, he beat 14-time Grand Slam winner Pete Sampras. At age 27, Federer became the first man to win 20 Grand Slam titles. After getting knee surgery and not completely recovering, Federer has decided to end his career. Federer has one of the greatest competitive records in tennis history. He has won 103 tour singles titles, 20 Grand Slam singles titles and was ranked No. 1 for 310 weeks in a row. Federer won three Grand Slams singles in 2004, 2006 and 2007 with ease. Then, Rafael Nadal came into the picture. Nadal beat Federer in the French Open and Wimbledon 2008. 

Photo courtesy of CBSnews.com

In 2016, Federer got surgery on his left knee. He made a strong comeback in 2017 where he won the Australian Open and won Wimbledon for the eighth time. Then, in 2018 he won the Australian Open again and became the oldest No. 1 player in history at age 36. He set the record for Men’s Singles at 20 Grand Slam Singles Titles, however that record has changed now.

Federer has earned over $130 million in prize money. On top of that, he has gained over $1 billion from sponsors. He is the highest paid tennis player and was the highest paid athlete in 2020. Federer says he will continue to play but knows that he has to protect his body, especially his knees. 

Both players have had incredibly successful careers and agree it is time to step away from the sport. Just because they are stopping playing does not mean that their love for tennis is any less. Federer says, “Finally, to the game of tennis: I love you and will never leave you.”