How Serena Williams’ former coach brought Simona Halep back from the brink of tennis retirement
Serena Williams, left, and Halep.
Kamil Szumowski/Associated Press
The time to talk was, well, never.
There has been an argument in the tennis world about whether Serena Williams should retire from her career. “I know my body,” Serena said. “I know that I can play a few more years. But I don’t think I will retire. I want to continue to train until I can’t do tennis anymore.”
But, like most players, she had to keep playing until age 43, at which point she will have played 21 grand slam matches, won 13 of them, and reached the final 11 times and lost only at the French Open. “No one can play 21 grand slam matches and lose once,” Serena said.
Meanwhile, Simona Halep had retired after the 2010 Australian Open after having lost her first three major finals. Since then, she has won four finals in five years, two of them at Wimbledon. In April, in what was one of the most unexpected comebacks in tennis history, she won her second title at the U.S. Open.
Here is where it gets even more surprising. In a conversation with the German magazine FOTM, Halep discussed her decision to retire after her last Grand Slam in 2014, saying:
“I think that I’m more happy now than I’ve ever been in my life,” she said. “I don’t know. It’s very difficult. And you have to think about everybody. I’ve told my friends that sometimes I don’t want to talk about it. You get depressed and you have to talk about it, you know what I mean?”
Her story began in 2011,