The 23-time Grand Slam champion has dominated the sport for almost 20 years and is the most successful player of the Open era.

But after dealing with a combination of injuries and the birth of her first child, Williams was forced to sit out for a while.

Now the tennis star today shared that she plans to retire from the sport, announcing the news on Instagram, promoting Vogue’s September cover of the athlete.

Hinting that one of her main reasons for retiring from the sport which she has been playing professionally since the age of 14 is motherhood.

Williams wrote: “There comes a time in life when we have to decide to go in a different direction.

“That moment is always difficult when you love something so much. My God, I love tennis.

“But now the countdown has begun. I need to focus on being a mother, my spiritual goals, and finally discovering a different, but just exciting, Serena.

“I will savor these next few weeks.”

The tennis champion shared more reasons behind her decision in her interview with Vogue for the September issue.

Saying, “I’ll be 41 this month, and something’s got to give,” Williams said.

She added: “I’ve never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t sound like a modern word to me. I thought of it as a transition, but I want to be sensitive to how I use that word, that which means something very specific and important to a community of people.

“Perhaps the best word to describe what I do is evolution.”

Williams added that she doesn’t know what’s next for her and isn’t ready for it to end.

However, she admitted that she was excited for everything that was to come.