behind the tennis player, a smart business woman

Until the last second of the last match of her professional career, there was no question for Serena Williams to depart from the principles that made her “The Queen of Queens”, as she was presented for her entry into the run of what should be him. at the last US Open: he controlled the time clocks, and no one else.

The tennis champion with twenty-three Grand Slam titles announced his impending retirement on August 9 in the magazine hip and on his Instagram account. After more than a quarter of a century in a remarkable career, he explained that he wanted to [s]concentrate on her role as a mother, [s]goals on a spiritual level, to discover a new but equally exciting Serena ».

But Friday, September 2, after being eliminated in the third round, after an epic match against the Australian Ajla Tomljanovic, the former world number 1 hesitated in his final decision.

Monday, already, after his victory in the first round against Montenegrin Danka Kovinic, he remains voluntary “unclear” when and where to retire. “I think I’m at a point in my life where I don’t need to retire. Simply put, I evolved in relation to tennis. (…) But the time has come for me to move on. There are still many things I want to do. “…

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On the eve of her 41st birthday (she celebrates on September 26), Serena Williams is preparing to move to a new intense life, to the point of baptizing herself “Serena 2.0”: long It’s been a while since the former circuit boss is looking forward to his retraining in the business world.

It can be important for sponsors

The best tennis player in history has already managed to increase an unparalleled track record and popularity of women’s sport by signing a dozen partnerships with sponsors of all kinds (Ford, Gucci, Gatorade, or even AbbVie, an American company specializing in pharmaceutical research). He does not hesitate to make himself commercial, like this successful incarnation of Wonder Woman for the DirecTV television platform where, armed with his racket, he conquers a legion of machines.

Without forgetting his equipment supplier Nike, which he joined in 2003 and recently opened, in its historic location in Portland (Oregon), a large high-tech complex of 9 hectares named next to the champion.

Aside from her advertising contracts, Serena Williams does not intend to sit on a personal fortune estimated at Forbes to 260 million dollars (including nearly 95 million from tennis). The American has been a formidable entrepreneur for almost a decade, with his company, Serena Ventures, involved in various sectors such as consumer services, technology or e-commerce.

Also read: US Open: Serena Williams beats the odds and qualifies for the third round

The company founded in 2014 has invested in more than sixty projects, including thirteen start-ups that are now considered unicorns (their valuation reaches or exceeds one billion dollars). Among them, emerged Impossible Foods (which produces meat and cheese substitutes from plants), MasterClass (an online conference platform) or Tonal (online sports courses).

“I’ve always been fascinated by technology, and I’ve always loved how it shapes our lives”Serena Williams explained to New York Times. In a sign that the company is continuing its rise, it announced in March the collection of 111 million dollars to fulfill the “assignment”.

Although he does not make it an absolute priority, the American makes it a point of honor to bring new profiles to entrepreneurship. According to the Serena Ventures website, 53% of the company’s portfolio includes companies founded by women, and 47% by black people, “because that’s who I am”says the soon-to-be retiree.

Even before launching her own investment company, Serena Williams, together with Venus, her sister, became a minority shareholder in 2009 in the Miami Dolphins NFL football club in Florida, where they grew up.

Serena Williams and her husband, Alexis Ohanian, holding their daughter Olympia, in New York, August 29, 2022.

“The same love” in business as in the courts

But Serena Williams doesn’t just invest and wait, she’s also personally involved. That is why he is part of several boards of directors, especially of Poshmark, a popular platform for online sales of second-hand clothes and goods. The business woman is well surrounded: her partner in Serena Ventures, Alison Stillman, went through JPMorgan, an investment giant, and she can also exchange her husband, Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of the social network Reddit .

Also read: Reddit co-founder resigned and asked to be replaced by a black person

“I feel like I go to sleep receiving messages from him, and wake up receiving messages from him again.magazine recently explained luck Alison Stillman. Nothing can replace tennis for him, but looking to the future, it’s exciting to see him put the same passion into it as he does on the courts. »

Serena Williams after showing her Spring 2015 collection during Fashion Week on September 9, 2014 in New York City.

Like basketball star LeBron James, Serena Williams is also focused on television. In 2021, he signed a contract with Amazon Studios to produce several series of documentaries to be broadcast on the video-on-demand service Prime Video.

And she does not intend to let go of rhinestones and sequins in fashion, she who paraded on the catwalks and launched her own collection in 2018, after breaking the aesthetic codes of women’s tennis by wearing, in court, strict clothes and flashy. There is little doubt: as predicted by his young compatriot “Coco” Gauff, “We will continue to see Serena”.

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