Serena Williams is thinking about pulling a Tom Brady and returning to tennis after her “retirement” from the sport. While making an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the tennis superstar was asked by host Jimmy Fallon if that is her plan.
After discussing what led her to the decision to leave tennis after 23 Grand Slam wins, Williams, 40, said she felt relief after announcing her retirement in a Vogue essay last month. The only person she told before her announcement was her therapist, telling Fallon, “Verbalizing meant that it was real, and I don’t want it to be real so I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do and I don’t think you really know until, I don’t know, until you say it or it’s actually real.”
“I’ve been playing tennis since I was little in a stroller… that’s how long I’ve been around tennis,” Williams also said of the Vogue essay. “But when it came out, I was actually relieved and I didn’t expect to feel that way. I felt good! I felt pretty good. It’s like when you want to accomplish something and you don’t do it but then when you finally do it you’re like, ‘It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was!’ And that’s kind of what it was like — I should have done it 10 years ago!”
Fallon asked if “There’s no chance of you pulling a Tom Brady and saying, ‘Maybe I’m evolving to coming back — pickleball,'” Williams teased back, “You know what? Tom Brady started an amazing trend. That’s what I want to say,” she laughed.
Serena said that she “always thought at the end of it I would just leave quietly and not saying anything and make an announcement on social media. That’s how I always thought I would do it.”
She added, “I think retirement is something that’s super-earned, that people work really hard for. But I just feel like I’m at an age where I definitely have a lot more to give, there’s a lot more I want to do, and so, I’m not going to be relaxing, there is so much more for me and I feel it’s more like an evolution of Serena. And there’s so many things that I’ve been wanting to do for so many years and I have such a passion for tennis for so long that I have never done it but now it’s time for me to, like, try to enjoy those things.”
Watch Serena Williams on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon below: