AP PHOTOS: Serena Williams, the athlete and cultural icon

Aug 9, 2022, 1:01 PM | Updated: 1:48 pm
FILE - Serena Williams holds the championship trophy after beating Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, i...

FILE - Serena Williams holds the championship trophy after beating Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, in the championship match at the 2012 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. Serena Williams says she is ready to step away from tennis after winning 23 Grand Slam titles, turning her focus to having another child and her business interests. “I’m turning 41 this month, and something’s got to give,” Williams wrote in an essay released Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, by Vogue magazine. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

(AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

After winning 23 Grand Slam titles, Serena Williams says she is turning her focus to having another child and her business interests as she readies to step away from tennis.

“I’m turning 41 this month, and something’s got to give,” Williams wrote in an essay released Tuesday by Vogue magazine, and a post on Instagram.

“There comes a time in life when we have to decide to move in a different direction. That time is always hard when you love something so much. My goodness do I enjoy tennis. But now, the countdown has begun,” Williams wrote on Instagram. “I have to focus on being a mom, my spiritual goals and finally discovering a different, but just (as) exciting Serena. I’m gonna relish these next few weeks.”

Williams, one of the most accomplished athletes in the history of her — or any other — sport, has seven titles apiece at Wimbledon and the Australian Open, six U.S. Open wins, plus three at the French Open, across a career remarkable for its peaks and its longevity. She also owns 14 Grand Slam doubles championships, all won with her older sister, Venus.

She has done plenty outside of tennis, too.

That includes forays into business with investment firm Serena Ventures and entertainment via past acting roles and executive produced “King Richard,” the film about her father that was nominated for five Academy Awards. She launched a fashion collection in 2018 after collaborations with HSN and Nike, made multiple appearances on the red carpet at the annual Met Gala in New York and appeared on the cover of Vogue magazine.

“Serena Williams is a generational, if not multi-generational, talent who had a profound impact on the game of tennis, but an even greater influence on women in sports, business and society. At a time when our nation and the world have wrestled with essential issues of identity, Serena has stood as a singular exemplar of the best of humanity after breaking through countless barriers to her participation and ultimate success,” U.S. Open tournament director Stacey Allaster said.

“She leaves an indelible legacy of grace and grit that will inspire athletes, female and male, for many generations to come. We can’t thank her enough for all she has done for our sport.”

___

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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AP PHOTOS: Serena Williams, the athlete and cultural icon