Queen of the tennis court Serena Williams says she is saying goodbye to the sport that has made her a household name, but the Greatest of All Time (GOAT) still has a few more tricks up her sleeve, even after she walks away.
The 23-time Grand Slam winner, who is turning 41 next month, announced in the September issue of Vogue that she would be retiring from sports after the US Open in order to focus on her family and growing business empire that promises to grow her $260 million fortune.
“I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me,” Williams wrote in her article for the magazine.
Williams, who currently runs a fashion label – S by Serena - also owns a venture capital firm called Serena Ventures, which has already raised an inaugural fund of $111 million.
The tennis star is already an angel investor with a portfolio of more than 60 companies, that includes MasterClass and Daily Harvest, since she started over a decade ago. Around 76 per cent of founders in her VC’s portfolio are female and come from minority groups.
Serena’s net worth
Williams is not only one of the greatest female athletes of all time – she is also one of the highest paid - coming in at No. 31 this year in Forbes’ annual list of 100 highest-paid athletes - with $45.3 million.
The tennis queen reportedly makes anything between $30 million and $40 million in a typical year from on-court earnings and numerous endorsement deals. This played a major part in keeping Williams in the Forbes list despite being sidelined due to injuries for nearly a year.
Williams’ list of endorsement deals is endless – from Nike to Gucci, Subway to Kraft – earning her more than $340 million before taxes and agents’ fees, alongside her business ventures.
It is expected her endorsement deals will continue even after she hangs up her tennis racket, much like Maria Sharapova who continues to promote Nike and Evian despite her retirement from sport in 2020.
Williams is also very visible on TV, appearing in Superbowl commercials this year, even as her playing schedule decreased – cementing her place in Forbes’ list of America’s richest self-made women, with an estimated net worth of $260 million.
According to the World Tennis Association, Williams has also earned more than $94 million in career prize money – more than any other female tennis player in history.
Williams, who is married to investor and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, sits on the board of directors of SurveyMonkey. She and her sister, Venus, also own a small stake of the Miami Dolphins.
Last year, she struck a first-look TV deal with Amazon Studios to create scripted and unscripted television projects, including a documentary about her life. The Amazon Prime exclusive will see Williams take on the role of executive producer.
She has also founded a number of charities, including The Serena Williams Foundation and the Williams Sisters Fund.
On top of all of this, the Grand Slam singles champion is also set to launch her first children’s book – The Adventures of Qai Qai – next month.
So, while it may be hard to see Williams walk away from her career, there is no doubt we won’t be seeing the last of her anytime soon.