American tennis legend John McEnroe says Serena Williams deserved to go the way she wanted, adding that the 23-time Grand Slam champion is among the best players in American sports history. On Tuesday, Williams revealed her plans to retire from tennis at this year's US Open.
Williams is widely regarded as one of the best players the sport has ever seen. McEnroe believes that Williams is in the league of Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Tom Brady. "She should do whatever she wants. She's an icon.
Her place in American society has reached a point where she deserves it after everything she's accomplished, everything she's done," McEnroe told USA Today. "I don't know the answer if she wants to play again, I don't think she needs to play again.
She's on the same level as Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Tom Brady. She's like one of the greatest athletes of all time in the history of any sport, whether male or female. She seems to be a great place in her life.
She has added a lot. Anyone who's seen the movie (King Richard) realizes where she came from and where she is now is amazing, so she can spend the rest of her life saying 'not bad, huh?' Williams' retirement from tennis at the US Open was the expected scenario.
When Williams announced her decision to return to action at Wimbledon, the general expectation was that Williams was preparing to say goodbye to tennis at the US Open.
Serena Williams is a legend
Appearing on the ESPN Daily podcast recently, sports journalist Howard Bryant presented his opinions on the ways in which sportspersons' careers end.
"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 Williams' 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." Serena Williams returned to the court at this year's Wimbledon Championships after a year-long layoff due to injury.
"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.