Serena Williams joked NFL superstar Brady “started an amazing trend” as she hinted at a possible return to tennis in the future.
Williams, a 23-time grand slam champion, revealed before the US Open she was soon to retire from the sport, with her Flushing Meadows run widely expected to mark the end of her career.
The 40-year-old exited her home major at the hands of Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round but was unwilling to categorically state if she was retiring.
Speaking at a news conference after that loss to Tomljanovic two weeks ago, Williams said: “I’ve come a long way since last year at Wimbledon. I’m just not sure if that was my last moment or not.”
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Some of the biggest names from around the sporting world have since paid tribute to Williams, but she has offered a further indication she is not done just yet.
“Tom Brady started an amazing trend. That’s what I want to say,” Williams said during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
What a ride it’s been.
Thank you, @serenawilliams 💙 pic.twitter.com/OEURHryJxV
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 3, 2022
announced his retirement in February after 22 seasons in the NFL, only to reverse that decision 40 days later by agreeing to return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I think retirement is something that is super earned and that people work really hard for,” Williams added.
“I feel like I’m at an age where I definitely have a lot more to give and there’s a lot more that I want to do, so I’m not going to be relaxing, there’s so much more for me.
“I feel it’s more of an evolution of Serena. There’s many things I’ve been wanting to do for so many years, and I’ve had such a passion for tennis for so long I’ve never done them.
“Now it’s time for me to start to enjoy those things.”