Serena Williams will retire from tennis after the US Open.

The 40-year-old star, considered by many to be one of the greatest players of all time, confirmed on Instagram that he would retire from the sport “in the next few weeks”.

Next to her Vogue cover image, Serena wrote on the photo-sharing platform: “Vogue. September issue cover. There comes a point in life when you have to decide to move in a different direction. This time is always hard when you love something so much. Oh my god, I like tennis. But now the countdown has begun. I need to focus on being a mom, my spiritual goals, and finally discovering the different, but simply amazing, Serena. I’m going to enjoy the next few weeks [heart emojis] (yes)”

Serena, who has four-year-old Alexis with husband Alexis Ohanian, also hinted at retirement after winning her first singles match in more than a year in Toronto, Canada.

The former world number one beat Nouria Parisas Diaz in straight sets but admitted she is nearing the end of her tennis career.

Discussing her motivation to keep playing, Serena said, “I guess there’s just light at the end of the tunnel.

“I don’t know, I’m getting closer to the light. It’s been for me lately. I can’t wait to get to that light.”

When asked what the light means, Serena replied: “Freedom. I love to play though, so it’s amazing.

“But I can’t do this forever. So sometimes you want to do your best to enjoy the moments and do your best.”

Serena crashed out of Wimbledon last month in the first round, and the 23-time Grand Slam champion will retire from the sport after the US Open, which starts in New York on August 29.

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