“When announcing your next retirement, you mentioned a “great pain”. Do the last few weeks and a game like this change that feeling?
I prefer the word evolution because I am at a stage in my life that does not correspond to retirement. The feelings are different. I was very moved in Toronto and Cincinnati. It was very difficult. I’m not saying it’s not hard now, it still is because I love being on the court. The more tournaments I play, the more I feel in my place. It’s a hard feeling to accept, quit knowing that the more you play, the more you can shine. But it’s time for me to move on. I want to do so many other things.
Your next opponent is world number 2 Anett Kontaveit…
At this stage, everything is a bonus for me. Each opponent is very difficult. I saw him all summer long. The next one is even more so. It’s good that I have this victory in my pocket. I’m not thinking about what’s next, I’m just thinking about this moment. I live in the moment.
“I will remain vague because you never know”
Can you confirm that this US Open will be the last tournament of your career?
It’s true that I was quite vague on that, huh? (smile) I will remain vague because you never know.
How did you feel when you entered the court, in an incredible atmosphere?
The welcome I received was truly extraordinary. It was so loud, I felt it in my chest. It was a very pleasant feeling, which I will never forget. It means a lot to me. When I walked onto the court, I was like, “Really? It’s real ? And at the same time, I still had a game to play. I wanted to live up to that welcome. I also had to stay completely focused. That’s what I tried to do.
Will tennis still be part of your next life?
I think yes. I love this sport which has given me so much. He gave me a platform that I could never have imagined having. All thanks to tennis. I don’t see myself uninvolved in tennis. I just don’t know how. But we have gone too far together to completely separate.
“I am happy to have this impact. I could never have imagined it, ever. I was just a little girl trying to play tennis.”
Coco Gauff, Naomi Osaka… Many have paid tribute to you and repeated that you had an immense impact on their careers. How do you react ?
Between Coco, Naomi, Taylor, everyone, it’s been… You know, I don’t think about it. I didn’t take the time to realize the impact I had. I understand it, but I don’t think about it. I will soon have time to do so. For now, I’m here, enjoying. I am happy to have this impact. I could never have imagined it, ever. I was just a little girl trying to play tennis at a time when I was able to develop that impact and have a voice.
You are going to play the double of the US Open with your big sister Venus Williams. What was his role in your decision to quit?
It was very important that she be involved in this process. Venus is my rock. I can’t wait to play with her, it’s been a long time. »