Following her first-round defeat to Harmony Tan at Wimbledon, will Serena Williams decide to retire from tennis this year?
It’s hard not to wonder, isn’t it? As she left Centre Court this week, we dare say there was a single person watching who wasn't wondering if we had just watched Serena Williams’ last ever match at Wimbledon.
She seems to be intending to play the US Open this year, but will she ultimately decide that will be it as far as her tennis career is concerned?
Let’s look at both sides of the debate.
Time to say goodbye
Other than Margaret Court, I don’t think there will be a single person on the planet who actually wants to see Serena Williams retire any time soon.
We certainly don’t, and it’s not even nice to even think about it, so let’s get this argument out of the way first.
The facts here are ultimately quite simple to support the idea that she will be hanging up her racket this year. She is 40-years-old and a mother to a small child, which is naturally her priority and, by all accounts, her greatest joy in life by far.
When you have a child it’s immensely difficult to find time for anything else, and time is not something that Serena has on her side in terms of her tennis career.
She has already all but confirmed she would like to play the US Open, and she has described it as a ‘special’ place for her. It is her home Slam and the place she won her first major.
Last year she was denied the chance to play due to a torn hamstring, but if she is injury-free this time around then there would surely be no more fitting place for her to call time on her incredible career?
Serena Williams is going nowhere
We’ve all been here plenty of times before, right? Serena leaves Rod Laver Arena in tears, we speculate it’s because she knows she’s retiring.
This time last year after a first-round exit at Wimbledon and we were saying the same. She misses the US Open, doesn’t play for a year, and doesn’t use her protected ranking to get into Wimbledon, and we’re all certain she has quietly slipped away in the night. In fact, Patrick Mouratoglou, her coach, was so sure that he got himself a new player.
And yet, here we all still are, getting to watch Serena Williams put on a great match on Centre Court. Sure, the result wasn’t what she wanted, but she looked far from out of place.
Ultimately, it probably comes down to this: Serena Williams is one of Wimbledon’s favourite daughters. The tournament loves her, the Centre Court crowd love her, and she loves everything about it in return. Did she really come back after a full year out just to go out in the first round?
Surely she will want to give Wimbledon at least one more go and if she does that she won’t miss the US Open next year either. If so, there is a lot more tennis left in her for us to enjoy.
So will Serena Williams retire this year?
Obviously that is something that only she knows the answer to, but if pushed to speculate we’d that she will be around a while longer yet.
Perhaps that is just us believing what we want, or being frankly utterly incapable and unwilling to face considering tennis without Serena Williams, even if we rarely get to see her anymore.
However, the logic all seems to point towards her sticking around a little longer yet.
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