Retirement not in sight for Serena
World number one Serena Williams insisted she has no plans to hang up the tennis racquet anytime soon ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Williams heads into the Games as the defending women’s singles champion, having defeated Maria Sharapova in the final at London 2012.
The 34-year-old American also arrives in Rio on the back of her seventh Wimbledon title - a record-equalling 22nd grand slam in the Open era.
However, despite winning all there is to be won, Williams said she has not lost her passion for the sport.
“I love what I do and I do it every day. I enjoy being on the court and I enjoy competing,” she said. “Right now I just don’t see a time where I don’t want to do it anymore.
“As long as I’m doing anything, whether it’s my tennis or I’m doing something else, I give my maximum effort.
“That’s just what I bring to the court every day.”
Having won gold four years ago in London, Williams said there is slightly less pressure on her to repeat those heroics this time around in Rio.
“It makes it a little different to feel like you’re defending something that there’s no [WTA] points on the line in terms of having to defend those points,” she explained.
“It’s really great that I’ve had an opportunity to win a gold medal in singles. Honestly, I think a little bit it takes some pressure off knowing I’ve won a gold medal.”
Williams is also a gold medal winner in double’s, having won with her sister Venus in Sydney in 2000 and eight years later in Beijing.
“All our lives, and I think this is for everyone on the panel, we dreamt of playing at the grand slams and you dream of winning grand slams, and you dream of holding that trophy. And then there’s the Olympics,” she said.
“Playing the Olympics was totally different because you’re really playing for your country. When I held my first gold medal it was really a feeling I never expected because there’s so many great athletes from across the globe in every single sport.
“I really had an opportunity to truly enjoy and appreciate my gold medal probably more than a lot of my other trophies.”