Breaking the news on the cover of Vogue magazine’s September issue, the 40-year-old tennis star said that the best word to describe what she is up to is “evolution” and added that she wants to grow her family.
Williams said, “I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.”
“I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me,” she added.
Williams also said: "I’ve been thinking of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people."
In what could prove to be her final tournament, Williams has her eyes set on the US Open after she was knocked out at Wimbledon during her first singles match earlier this year.
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready to win Wimbledon this year. And I don’t know if I will be ready to win New York. But I’m going to try,” she said.
She has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any open-era player, and the second-most of all time, behind Margaret Court’s 24 wins.
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) ranked Williams as the singles world number one for 319 weeks, which includes a joint record of 186 consecutive weeks. She has also finished as the year-end number one five times.
Serena won her last Grand Slam title in 2017 and has spent the time since to win an elusive 24th crown, coming extremely close to achieving the feat. Williams has featured in four major finals since she gave birth to her daughter Olympia in 2017.
In her dominating career, Williams has claimed seven Australian Open titles, three French Open titles, and seven Wimbledon crowns.
She has also won 14 women's Grand Slam doubles titles with her elder sister Venus and has won four Olympic gold medals.