Williams, 40, says she will focus on her family and her venture capital company after tennis. The American, who will retire after the US Open in New York, says she hopes to run a billion-dollar fund one day.
“It’s what I’m into, and what I really like doing,” Williams told Bloomberg just before her retirement announcement this month. “I like talking to founders and asking questions and learning about businesses.”
In front of a roaring crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium at Flushing Meadows in New York, she beat Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic, 6-3, 6-3 in the US Open first round on Monday evening. She will now play Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit on Wednesday.
Regardless of how Williams does at the US Open, she will exit her sport as one of the greatest athletes of all time. She has won 23 Grand Slam tournaments over a 27-year career that began when she was barely a teenager.
Williams has also enjoyed great success off the court. Serena Ventures, her early-stage venture firm, raised $111 million earlier this year from banks, family offices and individual investors.
Williams has been a busy angel investor over the past decade, investing in dozens of companies such as Impossible Foods, Daily Harvest and MasterClass.
“I like to be good at what I do and I really enjoy being on top of whatever I’m doing,” Williams said. “Obviously I have a tonne of work to get there, but I do have a lot of drive. I’m driven to continue to work hard and do what it takes to be at the top level.”
Other than her fund, Williams also owns a stake in the Miami Dolphins NFL team and has a fashion line called S by Serena.
A prolific endorsement figure throughout her time in tennis, Williams works with several of the world’s biggest brands, including Nike, PepsiCo’s Gatorade, Delta Air Lines and JPMorgan Chase. She stepped down from clothing reseller Poshmark’s board in April.