Serena Williams announced on Tuesday that she is stepping away from a game she loves to focus on having a second child.
But it's not a decision the tennis legend came to easy.
In an essay for the September edition of Vogue, the 23-time Grand Slam champion explained that she had to have "two feet into tennis or two feet out.”
"Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family," Williams wrote. "I don’t think it’s fair. If I were a guy, I wouldn’t be writing this because I’d be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labor of expanding our family. Maybe I’d be more of a Tom Brady if I had that opportunity."
Willaims referenced Brady, a 45-year-old NFL quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who retired in February, only to reverse his decision 40 days later.
She added that she didn't want to be pregnant again while being an athlete, having won a major when she was two months pregnant with her daughter Olympia, now 4.
She clarified that she loves being a woman and enjoyed being pregnant, but this time, she says, "something's got to give."
“I have never liked the word retirement,” Williams wrote. "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. A few years ago, I quietly started Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm. Soon after that, I started a family. I want to grow that family."
Williams married Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian in 2017 and said the couple has been trying for a second child "in the last year."
"We recently got some information from my doctor that put my mind at ease and made me feel that whenever we’re ready, we can add to our family," Williams said.
Williams wrote she loves being a hands-on mother to Olympia, who has been asking for a baby sister.
"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," Williams wrote.
Williams, who turns 41 on Sept. 26, is scheduled to participate in the Western and Southern Open next week before entering the US Open later this month.