Serena Williams drops HUGE retirement hints after winning her first singles match in 430 days in Canada – leading to speculation she’ll quit after the US Open next month
- The tennis superstar has dropped hints about retirement in bombshell presser
- It came after she won her first match in 430 days at the National Bank Open
- Williams’ comments lead to speculation the US Open will be her last tournament
Serena Williams earned her first win in more than a year on Monday before dropping a bombshell hint about retiring in the post-match press conference.
Williams beat Nuria Parrizas-Diaz 6-3, 6-4 at the women’s National Bank Open in Canada to record her first singles victory in the 430 days since she beat Danielle Rose Collins in the 2021 French Open.
It’s just the second tournament of the season for the 40-year-old, who returned to competition at Wimbledon just over a month ago, where she was beaten in the first round by Harmony Tan.
Serena Williams defeated Nuria Parrizas Diaz in the National Bank Open first round
It’s the beginning of the end of one of tennis’ most storied careers – male or female – and Williams admits she may retire soon.
‘I guess there’s just a light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t know, I’m getting closer to the light, so… lately that’s been it for me. I can’t wait to get to that light,’ she said at the post-match press conference.
Tellingly, she said ‘freedom’ was what she was referring to when she was talking about the ‘light’ at the end of the tunnel.
Williams returns the ball during today’s match against Parrizas-Diaz in Toronto
‘I love playing, though … but, you know, I can’t do this forever,’ Williams said.
‘Sometimes you just want to try your best to enjoy the moments, and do the best that you can.’
It’s yet another hint she’ll bow out after her home event, the US Open, which is scheduled to take place from August 29 to September 11.
Williams, 40, holds both arms up in celebration to the crowd after her first victory in 430 days
Fans went into a frenzy on social media over Williams’ retirement hint.
One avid supporter jokingly wrote ‘stay away from the light Serena!’ on Twitter, while another commented ‘you (Williams) are the GOAT! You can rest now!’.
Prior to her two tournaments this year, she last competed at Wimbledon in 2021, where she retired in the middle of her first match due to a torn hamstring suffered after slipping on the grass surface.
Williams pictured in her previous victory, on June 4 last year at the French Open
The victory over Parrizas-Diaz means she will face either Belinda Bencic or Tereza Martincova in the next round.
Williams started out strong, taking the first two games with relative ease.
Parrizas-Diaz tied it 2-2, but the 31-year-old Spaniard couldn’t find enough of a consistent flow to get ahead.
Williams found her rhythm, mixing solid touch with her signature power and putting shot after shot out of Parrizas-Diaz’s reach.
Fans cheer on Williams as she walks onto the court for her first round match in Toronto
The display from Williams was so impressive, the fans were on their feet roaring; with some even bowing.
The American superstar won the final three games to take the first set, then surged ahead in the second after Parrizas-Diaz took a 4-3 lead.
Williams endured a nine-deuce game to hold serve and even the set, and shortly after put her opponent out of her misery with a beautiful service game for victory.
The emotion was palpable as Serena Williams celebrated her win over Nuria Parrizas-Diaz
This win is a good step for Williams as she attempts to work her way back to being one of the sports most dominate names.
During her loss to Tan at Wimbledon in June, the crowd were brought to a standing ovation several times during the tightly contested affair.
The match featured several very long points, especially during the tiebreaking third set, and the match ended with a final result of 7–5, 1–6, 6–7 (7) in Tan’s favour.