Serena Williams not ready to relax after final tennis match as she ‘has a lot more to give’

Serena Williams behind a Serena sign

Serena Williams says she “will not be relaxing” after playing what is likely to be her final competitive tennis match, and can now find time for “things that I’ve been wanting to do for so many years”.

The global tennis phenomenon said that her reported “retirement” from the sport was “more of an evolution of Serena” and it was time for her to explore her other passions.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner bowed out of the third-round of the US Open tournament earlier this month after losing in three sets to Ajla Tomljanovic.

Speaking about her tennis career on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, she said: “I think retirement is something that is super earned and that people work really hard for.

“I feel like I’m at an age where I definitely have a lot more to give and there’s a lot more that I want to do so I’m not going to be relaxing, there’s so much more for me.

“I feel like it’s more of an evolution of Serena.”

She added: “There’s so many things that I’ve been wanting to do for so many years and I’ve had such a passion for tennis for so long that I’ve never done them.

“Now it’s time for me to start to enjoy those things.”

Serena’s sister and fellow tennis great Venus joked after their exit from the US Open doubles that she would try to convince her sibling to “evolve back”.

“I know for Serena and I, we have had and lots of wins and even though she’s evolving away from the sport, she might evolve back for doubles.

“Maybe I can get her to play. I don’t even know if I will play doubles again.”

Teased by Fallon about a possible return to her sport, similar to that of NFL legend Tom Brady, she responded: “Tom Brady started an amazing trend. That’s what I want to say.”

In an interview with Tennis365, doubles great Bob Bryan paid tribute to Serena.

“She has got to be one of the greatest competitors to every play,” Bob said. “She hates to lose. Every time she steps out there she finds that extra gear. Early on (against Danka Kovinic) she hit a few doubles faults and it wasn’t looking very good, but she just kinda reached back and found that will.

“It was the loudest match I’ve ever seen and she used the energy from the crowd. She rose to the occasion. She has not been playing well, but I thought for a set and a half she played great.”

READ MORE: An ode to the great Serena Williams and why her screams, complaints, cries and fights mattered