Serena Williams broke the news to her 4-year-old daughter Olympia that she’s retiring from tennis. Her little one’s response? “Yes!” The athlete shared that moment in her recent interview with TIME Magazine and opened up about why that reaction was hard to swallow.
“That kind of makes me sad,” Williams said. “And brings anxiety to my heart.” We completely get why her daughter’s excitement might be a challenging pill to swallow, after all the blood, sweat and tears that went into her historic career.
Still, Williams understands where her daughter is coming from when she cheered. “Olympia doesn’t like when I play tennis,” she explained.
The iconic athlete opened up in a first-person essay for this month’s Vogue that Olympia’s hopes are tied up in having a sibling right now. “[She] says this a lot, even when she knows I’m listening,” Williams wrote. “Sometimes before bed, she prays to Jehovah to bring her a baby sister. (She doesn’t want anything to do with a boy!) I’m the youngest of five sisters myself, and my sisters are my heroes, so this has felt like a moment I need to listen very carefully to.”
At this point, Williams feels like she has to choose between her athletic career and having a second child. “I definitely don’t want to be pregnant again as an athlete,” she explained. “I need to be two feet into tennis or two feet out.”
While it must be a really complex, difficult decision to say goodbye to a sport she loves so much, Williams thinks that this shift could really shape her as a parent. “I think I’m good at it,” she told TIME. “But I want to explore if I can be great at it.”
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