Serena Vogue Full Cover Spread

On Tuesday, 23-time major singles winner Serena Williams revealed the US Open will be her final tournament in a moving exclusive with Vogue.

In the piece, as told to Rob Haskell, Serena touched on several talking points, from the challenge of coming to terms with moving on from tennis to the emotions of playing in New York one last time.

A topic that resonated was the 40-year-old's evolution on motherhood. Daughter Olympia, who was born in September 2017, has been an infinite blessing.


Her impact has shaped Serena into the person she wants to be today. For Olympia opened her mother's eyes to the fact she was not only cut out to be a parent, she has an uncompromising desire to be involved.

“Earlier in my career, I never thought about having kids. There were times when I’ve wondered if I should ever bring kids into this world, with all its problems. I was never that confident or comfortable around babies or children, and I figured that if I ever did have a baby, I would have people taking care of it 24/7,” Serena said.

“I’m not going to lie—I definitely have a lot of support. But I’m also an incredibly hands-on mother. My husband will tell you I am too hands-on. In five years, Olympia has only spent one 24-hour period away from me. This past year, while I was recovering from a hamstring injury, I got to pick her up from school four or five days a week, and I always looked forward to seeing her face light up when she walked out of the building and saw me waiting there for her.

“The fact is that nothing is a sacrifice for me when it comes to Olympia.”

"I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family. I don’t think it’s fair."

"I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family. I don’t think it’s fair."

After giving birth nearly five years ago, the American later disclosed she “almost died” in a story she penned for CNN after a pulmonary embolism triggered six days of complications and unrest. Serena shined a light on the importance of being one’s advocate when her medical history and past experience with a pulmonary embolism in 2011 compelled her to alert nurses immediately when she felt short of breath.

Serena expressed in Vogue that she and husband Alexis have their hearts set on growing their family. But after her first experience of juggling many hats on the road that include mother, wife, athlete, entrepreneur, philanthropist and role model, Serena opened up about the desire to approach expanding the household with a dedicated mindset.

“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,” an encouraging Serena wrote.

“I definitely don’t want to be pregnant again as an athlete. I need to be two feet into tennis or two feet out.”


The fact is that nothing is a sacrifice for me when it comes to Olympia. _Serena Williams_

On Monday, Serena scored her first singles win in more than 14 months when she defeated lucky loser Nuria Parrizas-Diaz, 6-3, 6-4, in Toronto. Afterwards, she was greeted by an exuberant Olympia, who couldn’t wait to high-five her victorious mama. It was an unanticipated part of the 40-year-old's now farewell victory lap.

“I looked over and I saw her in the first middle of the first set and I was like, Oh, my God, why is she here?" she told press. "And then I went into mom mode, like, does she have on her sun cream? I was like, Okay, Serena, should I say something like, Take her upstairs to the suite. Because she never like, she's never been to my match."

“So it's kind of cool that it happened in Toronto but I didn't expect it. I was like, ‘Okay Serena, just let go and enjoy this.' It was good for her to have that memory. It's pretty cool. And she's never had it because I've always kept her away. And I'm so happy that she came out there and so it was good.

“And then I was like, Okay, no racquet smashing (laughing) stay calm.”

Serena began her Vogue feature with the revelation that Olympia's dream is to be a big sister. With Serena knowing first-hand how meaningful big sisters can be, including one who opened doors on the court and showed what it means to be a leader, she'll surely do everything possible to grant Olympia's wish in the future—a baby girl to mentor.