It’s been almost three months since Serena Williams fairytale finale at the US Open 2022.
And now, after taking a moment to marinate his newfound free time since “evolving away from tennis”, the 23-time Grand Slam champion appears to have found the itch to return to the court.
On November 24, Thanksgiving in the United States, Williams shared a photo of a new tennis racket on his Instagram story. She likened the image to a caption that likely intrigued the millions of fans who followed her illustrious career:
“I am a little bored”.
—Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) November 24, 2022
That same day, Williams was seen on the court with her older sister Venus and another active WTA player. Urszula Radwanska, the younger sister of retired Polish tennis player Agnieszka Radwanska, posted an Instagram Story of herself posing with the Williams sisters on a court in Jupiter, Florida.
—Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) November 25, 2022
Serena’s seemingly impromptu trip to the hard court isn’t the only sign she may be thinking of finding her way back to high-level tennis competition. She vastly exceeded expectations at Flushing Meadows this summer, beating world No.2 Anett Kontaveit during an impressive run to the third round of the year’s final Grand Slam.
Williams’ strong form “makes it a little bit more difficult” to walk away, he said as he withdrew from what was expected to be the last tournament of his career.
“I was getting better every week,” Williams said at the time. “I know that if I started earlier or played more, I would continue to compete at such a high level.”
“The more tournaments I play, the more I feel like I can belong,” he added. “That’s a hard feeling to have, and you walk away knowing that the more you do it, the more you can shine.”
A month and a half later, that “hard feeling” seemed to sink even further. While she was at a tech conference in San Francisco to promote her venture capital fund, Serena Ventures, Williams insisted that she “isn’t retired” and that “the chances [of her return] they are very tall”.
“I haven’t really thought about it yet. [retirement]Williams said, by NBC. “But I woke up the other day and I went to the court and [considered] For the first time in my life I’m not playing for a competition, and it felt really weird.
“It was like the first day of the rest of my life and I’m enjoying it, but I’m still trying to find that balance,” he added.
That balance may very well include playing under the bright lights whenever she feels inclined to. On the court after her loss at the 2022 US Open, Williams left open the possibility that she would reconsider “her evolution” of her moving away from tennis.
And during his press conference later that night, he left fans with good reason to hope:
“I’ve always loved Australia,” Williams said with a smile.
Could we see the GOAT suit in Melbourne for the Australian Open in January? As Williams said on Arthur Ashe after his last US Open match: “You never know.”