NEW YORK – Serena Williams, who seemed to make a farewell to competitive tennis at the US Open, on Wednesday dropped a hint she might not be done by evoking a famous retirement U-turn.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion said on ABC’s Good Morning America that she liked the example of 45-year-old National Football League star quarterback Tom Brady, who retired in February only to say six weeks later he was coming back for a 23rd season.

“You never know,” said the 40-year-old American, who made a similar comment during NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday.

“I’ve been saying that I think Tom Brady started a really cool trend.”

However, she did not commit to following in the footsteps of the seven-time Super Bowl champion who led Tampa Bay to victory in last week’s NFL season opener.

Williams, who turns 41 on Sept 26, said she was “evolving” away from tennis before the US Open, where her third-round loss to Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia seemed to mark a final farewell to her amazing 27-year career.

She was given lavish tributes before each match in New York.

Venus Williams, Serena’s older sister and a seven-time Grand Slam winner, has been trying to get Serena to make a comeback, the younger sibling revealed.

“She’s not done yet,” Williams said of the 42-year-old Venus. “This is just me… She’s been trying to get me (to come back) and I’m like, ‘No’.”

Asked if she might keep a “foot” in the world of competitive tennis “in some way”, Williams indicated the sport was in her future plans, but those remain uncertain.

“I feel like tennis has given me so much,” she said. “I feel like there’s no way I don’t want to be involved in tennis somehow in the future.

“I don’t know what that involvement is yet but I do know that I love the sport so much, I love the game. I love everything about it. I has just been such a light in my life. I definitely want to keep something involved in that.”

Williams also said that “it hasn’t quite sunk in yet” that she is moving on because after two days of sleep following her final loss, she has been busy every day as a business owner and mother.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” she said of her final event. “I’ll never forget those moments. It was pretty awesome.” AFP, REUTERS

Last modified: September 15, 2022