Serena Williams might be in her last year on the WTA Tour says former doubles world number one Rennae Stubbs.
At 39-years-old, Williams is widely considered one of the best tennis players of all time with a career spanning four decades and is the most successful Grand Slam singles tennis player, male or female in the Open Era.
The American is an icon of the sport both on and off the court, and is till competing at the highest level, despite taking a break in 2017 to have her daughter.
Speculation has been rife over the last few months about an imminent retirement, which was ignited when Williams took a poignant poise on court at the Australian Open earlier this year after losing to Naomi Osaka in the semi-final.
Although the rumours have been denied by both Williams and coach Patrick Mouratoglou, former player now tennis analyst Rennae Stubbs thinks there’s a good chance this year could be her last.
“I don’t know this for a fact. Serena and I are very good friends, and we have not talked about this, so this might be complete speculation. I think this might be her last year,” Stubbs said during a segment on TennisOne.
“I think she really wants to try and put everything into it this year. I just don’t see her playing a lot more. One of the reasons is she has Olympia (Williams’ daughter), she’s ready to get on with the rest of her life.”
Williams holds the record for the most singles Grand Slam titles with 23 in the Open Era, however she is one short of Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24.
Despite reaching four Grand Slam finals since the birth of her daughter, Williams hasn’t been able to get that last title, with many believing she will continue playing until she has it. But Stubbs thinks Williams has come to terms with the fact it might never happen.
“This has gnawed at her, to win this 24th (Grand Slam title). But I think she’s also maybe at the point where it’s finally not going to define her. And I think she’s okay with that,” Stubbs added.
“As much as she wants to win it, a lot of us want her to get past that Margaret Court record. I think it’s just a joke that we moved the goalpost to even include that (Court’s Amateur Era titles). For me the record was always Steffi’s (Graff) in the Open Era.”
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