According to former tennis pro Barbara Schett, Serena Williams announced her plans to retire due to family obligations and that it is simpler for men to compete on the tour than it is for women.
In a Vogue article published on Tuesday, Williams announced her impending retirement. She declared that she would retire after the US Open, which will take place in late August and run until September.
If she triumphs at Flushing Meadows, Williams will tie Margaret Court's 24 Grand Slam singles title record.
In light of this, Barbara Schett has joined a bevy of current and former players in paying tribute to the tennis legend. The Austrian tennis analyst noted in a recent interview with Eurosport that Williams is a "trailblazer" in the sport. She commended Williams for her commitment to the sport and predicted that she will be very successful in whatever she pursues in the future.
"She’s had an amazing career, she’s a trailblazer for our sport, " Schett said, adding, "I think we can thanks Serena Williams for what she has done for the sport, for her community and for tennis itself, the way it’s developed. Thank you for that Serena."
"And for this next chapter in her life I’m not worried about her at all, she’s very driven, she’s very motivated, she’s got her own company already. I’m sure she’ll be very successful in whatever she does, " she stated.
Schett then highlighted Williams' reason for retiring and said that it's easier for a man to play on the tour than a woman. She also shared her delight at witnessing the American swing her racquet at the US Open for the final time.
"Thre’s the family obviously, which she said is the reason why she’s retiring now, they would like to extend their family which I can totally relate to, " Schett said.
"It’s easier for a man playing on the Tour compared to a woman because at some stage everybody has to say goodbye. It’s been very hard for her and I can’t wait to see her at the US Open and so grateful that she’s been around, " she added.
"It was a privilege for me to play in her era" - Barbara Schett on Serena Williams
Barbara Schett considers herself fortunate to have played during the same time period as the 23-time Grand Slam champion. She also noted that playing the American was uncomfortable when she was in her prime.
"It was a privilege for me to play in her era as well, " Schett said. "I’ve been on the court playing against her many times. It was almost uncomfortable because the way she played, she played so hard, you always ran out of time against her, she had this presence on the court, her athleticism was just unbelievable."
"Yeah it was always very uncomfortable to play against her and especially that one time that I lost 6-0, 6-0 on Centre Court, Philippe Chatrier at the French Open. That’s something I don’t like to get reminded of very often, " she added.
After being eliminated by Harmony Tan in the first round of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships, Serena Williams began her North American swing at the 2022 Canadian Open.
She got off to a solid start in Montreal after defeating Nuria Parrizas-Diaz of Spain in her opening match, 6-3, 6-4. Additionally, it was her first victory on the WTA tour since the 2021 French Open. She will now square off against Belinda Bencic in the second round on Wednesday.