'We know that Serena Williams hasn't played...', says top analyst

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'We know that Serena Williams hasn't played...', says top analyst

US Open 2021 finalist Leylah Fernandez said it's "very sad" to see Serena Williams retire, but added that she feels the 23-time Grand Slam will find a way to be a great role model even in her retirement. On Tuesday, the 40-year-old Williams revealed her plans to withdraw from her at this year's US Open.

Fernandez, 19, is one of the most talented and promising players in the world. Fernandez described Williams as a true legend, adding that the American gave women "a path to follow." "It's very sad news. She's an icon, she's a legend.

The sport needs her. She has done incredible things not only for tennis but also for women. She gave us a path to follow," Fernandez said. "And then I know that she's making a decision for herself and we just have to trust that she's going to do things right.

I'm sure that she, hopefully, will be able to get back into the sport and help the younger generation. I am sure that she is going to be a great role model, even outside of tennis." In her article for Vogue, Williams admitted there is "no happiness" for her in announcing her decision to step away from professional tennis.

"There is no happiness in this subject for me. I know it is not the usual, but I feel a great pain. It is the hardest thing I could imagine. I hate it. I hate having to be at this crossroads. I tell myself over and over that I hope It was easy for me, but it's not."

Bryant on Serena Williams

Serena Williams turns 41 next month.

"I always say that there are three ways to retire," Bryant said. "One is when the game retires you, the game is telling you that you can't play anymore. The second is when your body retires you. And then there's the third way, which is when you go out on top.

In Serena's case, I don't think that she wants to choose any other door except the third one. But I don't know if the third one is really going to be available to her." Bryant opined that having not played a full season in years, it was too much to ask the 40-year-old to put in so much effort throughout the year.

"Clearly, what she wants more than anything else is that 24th Major. But we know that she hasn't played a full season in years. You really cannot expect a tennis player at the age of 40 to give that much effort across the season," Bryant added.

Serena Williams