Serena Williams Went to Tiger Woods to Ask If She Should Retire: 'I Needed His Advice'

Serena Williams, Tiger Woods
Stephane Cardinale/Corbis/Getty; Andrew Redington/Getty
As Serena Williams reflected on her decision to retire from tennis, she sought advice from her "boyfriend" Tiger Woods.
On Tuesday, Williams, 40, wrote in a first-person essay for Vogue that she plans to break away from her nearly 27-year pro career after the upcoming US Open, her next and possibly last chance to conquer her 24th Grand Slam Tennis career to retire victory and tie Margaret Court's record.
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Recently, when Williams "felt that itch to get back on the court" for the first time since her leg injury at Wimbledon in 2021, she went to none other than 46-year-old Woods, who became famous in professional golf around the world same time, Williams flew through the tennis world.
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"I said, 'I don't know what to do: I think I'm over it, but maybe I'm not over [tennis],'" Williams wrote in Vogue. "He's a tiger, and he insisted I'm a beast like him! He said, 'Serena, what if you only give it two weeks? You don't have to commit to anything. You just go out there and play every day for two weeks and give it your all and see what happens.' I said, 'Okay, I think I can do that.' "
RELATED: Serena Williams says she's "evolving away from tennis" after the 2022 US Open.
Williams wrote that she waited a month before taking Wood's advice and returning to court, saying it "felt magical to pick up a bat again."
"I was good. I was really good," Williams wrote of her comeback in Vogue. "I've been thinking back and forth about playing Wimbledon and then the US Open. Like I said, this whole evolution thing hasn't been easy for me.”
In June, the mother of 4-year-old Olympia lost a tough comeback match to Harmony Tan at Wimbledon and admitted in her Vogue article that she "wasn't ready to win Wimbledon this year".
"And I don't know if I'll be ready to win New York," she continued. "But I will try it."
As she prepares for the final Grand Slam tournament of the season, Williams clinched a singles win for the first time in over a year when she defeated Spain's Nuria Párrizas Díaz at the Canadian Open on Monday, a good sign just weeks away The US Open begins at the end of the month.
Serena Williams of the United States of America serves during her women's singles first round match against Laura Siegemund of Germany on day one of the Australian Open 2021 at Melbourne Park on February 08, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia.
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"I know there's a fan fantasy that I tied Margaret up in London that day, then maybe broke her record in New York, and then at the awards ceremony I said, 'See you!'" Williams wrote of her upcoming Retired in Vogue "...But I'm not looking for a ceremonial, final moment on the court. I'm horrified at the parting, the worst in the world. But please know that I am more grateful to you than I can ever put into words." . They carried me to so many wins and so many trophies. I will miss that version of me, that girl who played tennis. And I will miss you."
RELATED: Serena Williams claims first singles match win in 14 months: 'I forgot how it felt'
As Williams nears her last professional tennis games, Woods also faces uncertainty about his career. The golf legend, whose 15 major championships is only behind Jack Nicklaus' record of 18, missed the cut at the British Open in July, leading to an emotional moment as he left Scotland's Old Course at St Andrews.
In Vogue, Williams said she "reluctantly admits" to herself or to those around her that "I need to get off tennis." But the mother of 4-year-old Olympia and founder of investment firm Serena Ventures said she wants to turn her attention to something else, and she and husband Alexis Ohanian want to have another child.
Williams will play at the US Open in New York City, which begins August 29 and runs through September 11.
Serena Williams
American professional tennis player (born 1981)
Tiger Woods
American golfer
Margaret Hof
Australian tennis player

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