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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Derrick

"I'm just Serena"

The endearing parting words of the greatest tennis player of all time. Humble but confident, wanting nothing to take away from the brilliance she has created, Serena Williams' legacy will be a hard one to surpass.

She has, of course smashed every ceiling, paved every pathway and led at every opportunity to inspire and welcome every person, of every group, into every sport. It is testament that upon her retirement, sports people across the globe have taken to social media to thank Serena for what she has done for the industry, for women, for working mums, for ethnic minorities and for young people. She has shown that coming from nothing, doesn't mean that's where it keeps you. And yet, as Nike put so well, by changing nothing of herself she really changed everything. It's goosebump inducing when you think about it.

Just some of tennis achievements Serena has bagged:

1️⃣ 186 consecutive weeks at number 1

🥇 4 time Olympic gold medalist

💥 367 major match wins

🏆 23 Grand Slam titles

🎾 6 US Open

🎾 7 Australian Open

🎾 7 Wimbledon 3 French

But perhaps her greatest achievement, winning the Australian Open whilst 8 weeks pregnant. Making the Wimbledon semi-finals 10 months after not just giving birth, but going through a traumatic labor. Her sheer willpower and drive isn't something we've seen, or will see, very often.

Aside from her achievements on the court, 'just Serena' has always thought about others, about her future beyond the court and for the future of the game she loves so much. As she walks away from the game, Serena can look forward to driving forward women's football in America through her co-ownership of Angel City FC, supporting underrepresented athletes with investment in companies like OpenSponsorship or changing the expectations of NFL ownership through her co-ownership of the Miami Dolphins; the first black woman to hold any amount of ownership in an NFL franchise (alongside her sister, Venus). And this is just the smallest list of ventures Serena is involved in.

So whilst we watch Serena 'evolve away from tennis', we know the Serena legacy is only beginning.

Sportswoman of the decade, Golden 'Serena' Slam winner, Woman of the Decade, Women's Player of the Decade, Sportsperson of the Decade, Favourite Sportswoman, Most Marketable Athlete, Best Female Tennis Player, mum...

''Just Serena', thank you for being you.

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