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Serena Williams is honest about the next steps in her career: “It was a very difficult decision”

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Serena Williams put on a show in the first round of the US Open on Monday night, defeating Danka Kovinić in straight sets 6-3, 6-3.

Williams was playing in what is likely to be her last Grand Slam tournament. Following the victory, Gayle King appeared at Arthur Ashe Stadium at one end of the court and introduced Williams to the microphone.

King asked Williams why he decided it was time to go. Williams wrote an essay about walking away from the sport that he dominated for several years.

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Serena Williams of the United States reacts during the US Open tennis first round match against Danka Kovinic of Montenegro on Monday, Aug. 29, 2022, in New York.
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

“It’s been such a tough decision, you know… It’s been a really tough decision because I think when you’re passionate about something and you love something so much, I think it’s always hard to walk away,” Williams said. “Sometimes it’s harder to walk away than not and that’s been the case, so I’ve been trying to decide for a while what to do.”

The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion joked that the sport still keeps her fit.

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Serena Williams of the United States celebrates against Danka Kovinic of Montenegro during the women's singles first round on day one of the 2022 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 29, 2022 in the Flushing neighborhood of the district of Queens NEW YORK.

Serena Williams of the United States celebrates against Danka Kovinic of Montenegro during the women’s singles first round on day one of the 2022 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 29, 2022 in the Flushing neighborhood of the district of Queens NEW YORK.
(Sarah Bull/Getty Images)

“But I was like, ‘Okay, I think now is the time. I only have one family’… There are other chapters in life and, you know, I call it an evolution,” she said.

Williams admitted that “winning” at this stage would mean success in her post-tennis career.

“I have my venture capital firm, Serena Ventures, and like I said, we invest in a lot of people. We invest in women and people of color and also men, we invest in everyone. I really wanted to spend more time at home and work on my spiritual life.” And that was very important to me,” he said.

“It’s like Serena 2.0. I’ll still be crazy, I’ll still be intense. I’ll still be there.”

Serena Williams of the United States celebrates against Danka Kovinic of Montenegro during the women's singles first round on day one of the 2022 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 29, 2022 in the Flushing neighborhood of the district of Queens NEW YORK.

Serena Williams of the United States celebrates against Danka Kovinic of Montenegro during the women’s singles first round on day one of the 2022 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 29, 2022 in the Flushing neighborhood of the district of Queens NEW YORK.
(Elsa/Getty Images)

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Williams looked as solid as ever against Kovinić, but will have a tough test in the second round on Wednesday. Williams wants to face world no. Anett Kontaveit, seeded 2, also beat Jaqueline Cristian in straight sets 6-3, 6-0.

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