Rio 2016: Serena Williams has no plans to retire from tennis: ‘I love what I do every day’

Serena Williams said on Wednesday that retirement is not on her agenda as the tennis world No 1 targets a sixth Olympic gold medal.

Serena Williams is aiming for her second singles Olympic gold and fifth overall. Michael Reynolds / EPA
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Serena Williams said on Wednesday that retirement is not on her agenda as the tennis world No 1 targets a sixth Olympic gold medal.

Williams, 34, arrives in Rio with a seventh Wimbledon title wrapped up, which allowed her to pull level with Steffi Graf’s Open era record of 22 majors.

But even if she secures a second successive Olympics singles gold and fourth in doubles with sister Venus, she still has no intention of hanging up her racket.

“I love what I do every day and enjoy being on the court. I enjoy competing,” Williams said.

“I just don’t see a time when I say I don’t want to do this anymore. I always give my maximum and that’s what I bring to the court.”

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Williams won her first Olympic singles gold in London four years ago and then doubled up with Venus.

The sisters had also won doubles gold in Sydney in 2000 and Beijing eight years later.

The only blot on her Games record was having to miss the 2004 Olympics in Athens with a knee injury.

Williams, who will be top seed in the draw, said she still remembers her first gold medal alongside her sister in 2000 when she was just 18.

“We all dream of the grand slams and winning them, but the Olympics are different,” Williams said.

“The first gold medal I won was something I appreciated more than a lot of my trophies.

“It’s really great to have another opportunity to win the title. Having won it already definitely takes the pressure off.”

The Olympic tennis tournament, which starts Saturday, has been hit by a number of high-profile withdrawals.

Five of the top 10 in the men’s rankings, including Roger Federer, as well as leading women’s stars such as Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, Simona Halep and Belinda Bencic, are missing.

Also out are Williams’ fellow Americans John Isner and Sam Querrey as well as defending men’s doubles champions Mike and Bob Bryan.

However, Venus, 36, said missing the Olympics was never an option.

“We felt we couldn’t say no, we wanted to be here,” she said.

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