Serena Williams Shares Daughter Olympia's Reaction to Her Retirement From Tennis

Days after announcing the end of her tennis career, Serena Williams revealed that her daughter Olympia’s reaction to her retirement made her “sad.” Find out why.

By Daisy Maldonado Aug 29, 2022 5:53 PMTags

Serena Williams' daughter had a much different reaction than the rest of the world upon hearing her mother would be retiring.

The tennis champion revealed that her 4-year-old daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.—whom she shares with husband Alexis Ohanian—was excited to learn Serena would be stepping away from the court after the US Open.

"Olympia doesn't like when I play tennis," she told Time in an Aug 29. interview, who shared that Olympia responded with a fist-pumping "Yes!"

Seeing her daughter's reaction when she told her she would be parting ways with a craft she's spent years perfecting was one that took her aback. "That kind of makes me sad," Serena explained, "and brings anxiety to my heart."

She added, "It's hard to completely commit when your flesh and blood is saying, Aw."

Serena Williams Through the Years

As she moves away from tennis, Serena will prioritizing growing her family and shared that Olympia would like to be a big sister.

Still, it's not lost on Serena that her decision to focus on having another child and leaving life as an athlete played out differently than her male peers.

"It comes to a point where women sometimes have to make different choices than men, if they want to raise a family," Serena said. "It's just black and white. You make a choice or you don't."

Despite this, she's found peace with planning her next move.

"There is no anger," she told the outlet. "I'm ready for the transition." 

Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

Serena announced that she would being saying goodbye to tennis in an essay for Vogue earlier this month.

"I'm here to tell you that I'm evolving away from tennis," she wrote in a cover story for the magazine's September 2022 issue, "toward other things that are important to me." 

She also admitted that while some are excited to retire, she found it to be extremely difficult. 

"Praise to these people, but I'm going to be honest. There is no happiness in this topic for me," the four-time Olympic gold medalist continued. "I know it's not the usual thing to say, but I feel a great deal of pain. It's the hardest thing that I could ever imagine. I hate it. I hate that I have to be at this crossroads. I keep saying to myself, I wish it could be easy for me, but it's not. I'm torn: I don't want it to be over, but at the same time I'm ready for what's next."