Tennis: I love it too much to quit, says Serena

Sister's Venus, and Serena Williams. Photo / AP
Sister's Venus, and Serena Williams. Photo / AP

Four-time Wimbledon winner Serena Williams has hit back at suggestions that she and sister Venus could be ready to retire from tennis.

After more than a decade as two of the sport's most dominant forces, Serena and Venus head into Wimbledon, which starts today, without a Grand Slam title between them since 2010.

The American sisters are in their 30s and have never hidden their desire to pursue off-court interests in fashion and show business.

That, combined with a decline in their performances, has led to a belief they could be ready to call it quits.

Venus, 32, has struggled to recover from Sjogren's syndrome, an auto-immune disease that causes fatigue and joint pain, and the five-time Wimbledon champion will be unseeded at the All England Club for the first time since 1997 after dropping to 55th in the world rankings.

Serena, 30, remains a powerful force, but she hasn't won a Grand Slam since her Wimbledon triumph in 2010 and her first-round exit from the French Open last month was her worst result at a major.

Even so, she is adamant she and Venus love the sport too much to contemplate retirement.

"I have no intention of stopping and I don't think [Venus] does either. We're definitely connected at the hip [in that respect]," Serena said.

"I enjoy being out there on the court so much and I've been having so much fun, so it's been great.

"I love competing. I love the challenge. I love holding up trophies. So I guess if ever I feel that I can't do that, then maybe I won't play any more.

"I love stepping out on that court, having that atmosphere, that moment," she said. "That moment is all about me. Maybe it's a little selfish, but I love that feeling."

Asked if she would find it hard to replicate the buzz of playing at events like Wimbledon when she does eventually retire, Serena said: "Probably, yeah. But you have to make adjustments, for sure. Who knows? Maybe I'll become a rock star!"

Serena, who faces Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in the first round at Wimbledon this year, insists her confidence has not been shaken by Roland Garros.

"I wouldn't be here if I didn't feel confident. Whether I had won in Paris or lost like I did in the first round, I am always extremely motivated."

- AAP

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