Serena Williams has been having an incredible few months — the tennis star won Wimbledon in July, celebrated her 34th birthday in September, and came this close to winning another US Open title in August. Now, the athlete has decided that she's taking a break.
The announcement came after Serena withdrew from the WTA Finals and China Open on Thursday. Serena said that she is "taking a proactive step and withdrawing from tournaments in Beijing and Singapore to properly address my health and take the time to heal." In a quote on the China Open website, she added, "It's no secret I've played injured most of the year — whether it was my elbow, my knee, or, in the final moments after a certain match in Flushing, my heart."
Serena's loss in the US Open, held in August in Flushing, NY, was a surprising upset — she was widely expected to win against her unseeded opponent in the semifinals, Roberta Vinci. In her defeat, Serena narrowly missed becoming the first player since 1988 to accomplish a calendar-year Grand Slam. The unexpected loss has understandably affected the world-class athlete, and we wish her well during her break. Serena has said she plans to return to exhibition matches later this year. In the meantime, take a look back at all the reasons Serena is one of the greatest athletes of all time.