The American waved an emotional goodbye after losing in the third round of the US Open to Ajla Tomljanovic last year. Serena Williams has sent social media into a frenzy after posting a cryptic update that suggests she could make a sensational comeback to tennis. The 23-time singles Grand Slam champion called time on her remarkable career following her final appearance at the US Open last September.
In a statement prior to last year’s event at Flushing Meadows, she cited family reasons as the motive behind her decision.
Williams said: “I have never liked the word retirement. Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution.
“I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.”
Her comments were followed by the all-time great declaring “I am not retired” last October, before adding that the chances of her making a return to the court were “very high”.
Williams also teased a return to action in November, when she posted a photo of a racquet and tennis court with the caption: “I’m a little bored.”
And it seems the teasing hasn’t stopped there, with Serena recently uploading a snap of herself alongside the words: “Coming soon…”
Wearing what appears to be Nike’s new line of tennis gear for women this spring, Serena looks more than ready for action – and her doting 16.2m followers on the platform certainly seem to think so, too.
Alongside an array of red heart emojis, one person penned: “Is that a tennis outfit? Stop playing with us, Serena.” Echoing their comments, someone else said: “Interesting. Does this mean you’re making a comeback?”
Her post comes just a week after the 41-year-old revealed that she has had some second thoughts during her retirement.
Speaking to E!, she admitted: “I for sure feel more at peace now. It’s interesting. I think I feel torn because I’m still able to play at a very, very, very high level.
“I also wanted to walk away when I’m healthy and have a quality of life. But I’m inch by inch leaning away, inch by inch embracing it. I was playing earlier when I first retired because it was hard to do it cold turkey.
“But lately, I haven’t played so much. And I miss it. I’m like, ‘Oh my goodness. I gotta get out there’. But it’s hard for me to get out there. I did play the other day, and it’s just like, ‘There’s no way I shouldn’t be playing professional tennis’. Like, there’s literally no excuse.
“But I mean, I guess there is an excuse, right? It’s hard because when I’m playing I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m pretty good at this. I can continue to do this,’ which not a lot of people can say.”
Williams turned professional in 1995 and is regarded by many as the greatest ever women’s tennis player – and a look at her CV makes it hard to argue otherwise.
The Michigan native has won both the Australian Open and Wimbledon seven times, the US Open on six occasions and the French Open three times.
Even in her retirement, or what she called her evolution from the sport, Williams continues to remain an enigma.
No one knows the real answer and the 23-time Grand Slam champion added to the mystery with her latest comments in her first public appearance since her send-off party at the US Open in October 2022.
She told The San Francisco Standard: “I am not retired. The chances of me returning are very high. You can come to my house and see I have a court.”