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23-Time Grand Slam Champion, Serena Williams Announces Upcoming Retirement From Tennis

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Serena Williams has announced her upcoming retirement from tennis as she admitted on Tuesday she is “evolving away” from the sport.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion made just her second appearance of the year this week as she defeated Nuria Parrizas at the National Bank Open in Toronto.

She admitted afterward she was “getting close to the light at the end of the tunnel” with regard to her remarkable career, before furthering that statement with a Vogue article in which she alluded to walking away.

“I have never liked the word retirement,” Williams wrote in Vogue. “It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. I’ve been thinking of this as a transition but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people.

“Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution. I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.

“I’ve been reluctant to admit that I have to move on from playing tennis. It’s like a taboo topic. It comes up, and I start to cry. I think the only person I’ve really gone there with is my therapist.”

Williams noted that she and her partner Alexis are trying for another child and that she did not want to be pregnant as an athlete again. In the piece, she recalls that she had been two months pregnant with her daughter Olympia when she won the Australian Open in 2017.

The 40-year-old was knocked out by Harmony Tan at Wimbledon in her first singles match for a year earlier this summer but has her sights set on the US Open in what could prove her farewell tournament.

Serena Williams of the United States laughs during her quarterfinal doubles tennis match with Ons Jabeur of Tunisia against Shuko Aoyama of Japan and Hao-Ching of Taiwan at the Eastbourne International tennis tournament in Eastbourne, England, Wednesday, June 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

“Unfortunately I wasn’t ready to win Wimbledon this year,” she added in the article. “And I don’t know if I will be ready to win New York. But I’m going to try. And the lead-up tournaments will be fun.

“I know there’s a fan fantasy that I might have tied Margaret that day in London, then maybe beat her record in New York, and then at the trophy ceremony say, ‘See ya!’ I get that. It’s a good fantasy. But I’m not looking for some ceremonial, final on-court moment. I’m terrible at goodbyes, the world’s worst.”

After beating Nuria Parrizas-Diaz at the National Bank Open, in what was her first win since the 2021 French Open, Serena Williams admitted she is looking forward to retirement despite still enjoying her tennis.

Williams’ last Grand Slam title came in 2017 to take her tally to 23, leaving her one shy of a 24th that would bring her level with Margaret Court’s record for most majors.

“There are people who say I’m not the GOAT (greatest of all time) because I didn’t pass Court’s record, which she achieved before the ‘Open era’ that began in 1968,” Williams said.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want that record. Obviously, I do. But day to day, I’m really not thinking about her. If I’m in a Slam final, then yes, I’m thinking about that record. Maybe I thought about it too much, and that didn’t help.”

She underlined her imminent retirement by suggesting “the countdown has begun”, noting that she was “relishing” what could be the final few weeks of her career.

Williams collected her maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open in 1999 when she defeated Martina Hingis just weeks before turning 18.

“I don’t particularly like to think about my legacy. I get asked about it a lot, and I never know exactly what to say. But I’d like to think that thanks to the opportunities afforded to me, women athletes feel that they can be themselves on the court. They can play with aggression and pump their fists. They can be strong yet beautiful. They can wear what they want and say what they want and kick butt and be proud of it all.”

Such was the dominance of the Williams family in the early 2000s that Serena met her sister Venus in eight of 13 Grand Slam singles finals from 2001 to 2009, with the pair also facing off in the 2017 Australian Open final in Melbourne.

Together the sisters transformed women’s sport with their skill and supremacy alongside their influence as leading voices in the push for gender and racial equality.

In an interview with Sky Sports in December 2020, US male tennis player Frances Tiafoe explained how he grew up aspiring to follow in the footsteps of both.

“When I tell people in the neighborhood ‘I’m a tennis player they’re like ‘oh so you’re trying to do that Williams sister thing?’. They’re a staple. You talk about tennis to a black person and it’s the Williams sisters, that’s just what it is. Just so big, they give so much confidence to so many guys,” he said.

“What Venus did for women’s sport, women’s tennis, women’s rights is unbelievable. Both of them have been great spokeswomen. I looked up to them and I still do. I’m a fan of them and I want to say thank you to them.”

One of Serena Williams’ most dominant periods arrived between 2012 and 2016 when she won eight of 16 Grand Slam singles appearances, as well as reached the final on two other occasions.

 

Credit: Sky Sports

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Project Lead Africa Announces 2022 Leadership Excellence And Dignity Awards, Tagged “Rewarding Tenacity”

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Organizers of Leadership Excellence And Dignity Awards have annouced November 13th for the 2022 maiden edition of Lead Awards. It was also revealed that the prestigious event will hold at the Dome International Conference Center, Akure, Ondo State.

Addressing a cross section of journalists over the weekend in Lagos, the Executive Director, Abiola Alaba Peters AAP, said the evening promises to be a gathering of captains of industries, government officials and prominent traditional rulers as far as Ondo State is concerned.

“It is our pleasure to announce to the general public, particularly the good people of Ondo State, that all is set for the 2022 Leadership Excellence And Dignity Awards. This announcement was necessary after several months of consultation and planning, the event will be live at the Dome International Conference Center, in Ondo State capital, Akure”

“The date is November 13th 2022, It’s going to be a cooperate night, an evening of glitz and glamour, we have put in so much into making this maiden edition a memorable one. And that is why we have also taking time to design the concept of the theme of this year ceremony, REWARDING TENACITY. We believe it’s time to celebrate the individuals and organizations who have put in their best in making our dear state what it is today”

“It’s promises to be a gathering of some of the biggest names in Ondo State, from politics, business, entertainment, among others, our traditional rulers are not going to be left out, we are also expecting guests from neighboring states. Alaba Peters concluded.

Giving further details on the event, the Media and Publicity Director, Adewoye Solomon, said although activities, such as nominations and voting has kicked off since January, the award ceremony will hold on a Sunday in the month of November 2022.

In his words, “Let me start by saying that, the process and activities for the award started in January this year, the award presentation will hold in Akure, on a Sunday, the second week of November 2022. Let me also add that, two months ago, we closed the voting process. We have about 25 categories of awards, which includes the special recognition category”.

“A total of 15 categories will be decided by general public, while the remaining 10 will be decided based on the panels’ decision. We received a good number of quality entries from across the state for this debut edition. We have our final shortlists of winners, which we are confident embody the excellence the awards stand for.”

Lastly, let me also add that, this is a strictly by Invitation event. We are introducing an electronic invites by next month. We also have some top celebrities coming in from Lagos. We will make some major announcement in the month of October, do well to follow us on all our social media pages for updates. Thank You “

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JUST IN: FG Makes U-Turn, Withdraws Order To Reopen Varsities

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The Federal Government, through the National Universities Commission, Monday afternoon, withdrew its circular which ordered vice-chancellors, pro-chancellors, and governing councils to re-open federal universities.

It was reported earlier that a circular tagged NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 was addressed to all vice-chancellors; pro-chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities ordering them to re-open universities.

But in another circular tagged NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/136, which the Director, Finance also signed, and Account of the NUC, Sam Onazi, the commission withdrew the order.

Though it did not explain why. The letter tagged, “withdrawal of circular NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 dated September 23, 2022” partly read, “I have been directed to withdraw the NUC Circular Ref: NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135, and dated September 23, 2022, on the above
subject.

“Consequently, the said circular stands withdrawn. All pro-chancellors, chairmen of governing councils, and vice-chancellors of federal universities are to please note. Further development and information would be communicated to all relevant stakeholders.

“Please accept the assurances of the Executive Secretary’s warmest regards”

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Retired Soldiers Stage Protest In Abuja Over Pay Discrepancies [PHOTOS]

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Some retired soldiers on Monday in Abuja protested salary and pension gaps among the ranks of serving and retired military personnel.

The protesters were seen with mats and banners demanding that the federal government rectify the discrepancies.

One of the banners they carried, said, “Review the wide disparity in pay and pension across the ranks of servicing and retired personnel”

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