But a more complete look at the Oct. 19 exchange with TechCrunch deputy editor Jordan Crook dims the prospect of the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion playing high-level matches again.
Crook noted Williams’ aversion to the word “retired” and the court queen said, “I’m not retired.”
“What are the chances that we get to see you play again?” Crook asked.
“The chances are very high,” Williams replied, and that was interpreted as a sign that a comeback was probable.
But the complete answer wasn’t so promising.
“The chances are very high. You come to my house, I got a court,” Williams said, appearing to joke.
“I’m definitely cashing in on that,” Crook noted.
Williams, 41, also implied she was content without the pressure of pro tennis.
“I did go on the court the other day and [realized] for the first time in my life that I’m not playing for a competition and that felt very weird,” Williams said, per the San Francisco Standard. “It was like the first day of the rest of my life, and so far, I am enjoying it. But I’m still trying to find that balance.”
Sure, the whole conversation offered a slight possibility that Williams might pull a Tom Brady and put off evolving away from the game, as she put it.
But for now it appears likely her celebrated run to the third round in the 2022 U.S. Open will remain her swan song.