Serena Williams has been on a hot streak this year in her professional career, but now the highly-decorated athlete is looking to take some time off.
Williams shared the news that she will withdraw from the China Open and the WTA Finals in Singapore, TIME reports. The Cali native said she will turn her focus onto her health. “It’s no secret I’ve played injured most of the year — whether it was my elbow, my knee, or, in the final moments after a certain match in Flushing, my heart,” she said in a statement issued to the China Open’s website. “I’m a fierce competitor. And I want to compete as well as I can, for as long as I can. So I am taking a proactive step.”
Williams endured a crushing loss when she fell to opponent Roberta Vinci (2-6, 6-4. 6-4), during the US Open on Sept. 11. The tennis champion was one match away from reaching the finals, and possibly a Grand Slam, but ended the game with a shocking defeat.
“This is a very difficult decision, but one ultimately made because of the love of the game,” she said. “I plan to return to practicing and participating in exhibition matches later this year. And when I do, l will focus and focus and focus so I can continue my journey in this beautiful game.”
In an interview with ESPN, Serena’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou revealed how the star player felt after this loss.
“She was two matches away from something really big, so it was very painful. Any loss is very painful for her, but this one even more than usual,” he said. “So it just takes time to recover from it, and when the motivation comes back, which I don’t doubt it will, then it will be time to start tournaments again.”