The legendary Serena Williams announced her retirement from tennis this Tuesday. She'll officially walk away from the sport following the U.S. Open in New York.
Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, opened up about her decision in a feature article on Vogue.
Saying goodbye to tennis won't be easy for Williams, and she acknowledged that in Vogue's article.
"There is no happiness in this topic for me. I know it’s not the usual thing to say, but I feel a great deal of pain. It’s the hardest thing that I could ever imagine. I hate it. I hate that I have to be at this crossroads," Williams said. "I keep saying to myself, I wish it could be easy for me, but it’s not. I’m torn: I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next. I don’t know how I’m going to be able to look at this magazine when it comes out, knowing that this is it, the end of a story that started in Compton, California, with a little Black girl who just wanted to play tennis. This sport has given me so much. I love to win. I love the battle. I love to entertain."
As you'd expect, the sports world is heartbroken by this news. Fans around the country believe tennis won't be the same without Serena Williams.
"I truly can't imagine tennis without Serena Williams. End of an absolutely incredible era," D'Arcy Maine wrote.
"We aren't ready @serenawilliams! You have done so much for American tennis, the sport, women in sports and for the collective," Cari Champion tweeted. "Your presence and excellence is invaluable. I’m not ready either but you will always remain the GREAT ONE."
There's no question that Williams will go down as one of the greatest athletes ever.
Williams is currently competing at the Canadian Open. She defeated Nuria Parrizas-Diaz in straight sets on Monday.
We'll find out in the coming weeks if Williams' career will have a storybook ending.