Serena Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam winner, released her first children’s book on Tuesday.
The 40-page book, published by Macmillan publishers, is titled ‘The Adventures of Qai Qai’ and tells the story of “a little girl who learns to believe in herself with the help of her doll and best friend, Qai Qai.”
In a recent interview with Good Morning America, Serena said, “We just wanted to really put in people’s minds that we can’t forget how important it is to just use your imagination and play and also believe in yourself.”
She also said, ““When I saw the illustration, I said, listen, I really want it to represent a Black girl because I thought it was really important -- the reason Qai Qai came [about was] because I was looking for a Black doll and I just wanted it to be something really authentic that represented who we are -- our hair and like everything and the texture. And I thought she did a wonderful job with getting that across, even with the mom and the dad.”
The American tennis legend, who turned 41 on Monday, may have played her last professional match at the 2022 US Open where she lost 5-7, 7-6 (4), 1-6 to Australian Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round.
“I don’t think so but you never know” said a tearful Serena after the match when asked if she would reconsider retiring from the sport. In August, she had announced that she was “evolving away” from tennis to focus on growing her family and her business interests.
However, recently, when 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer announced his decision to walk away from the sport after a 24-year-long career, Serena came as close as she has come to firmly saying her own career is complete by welcoming the Swiss maestro into “the retirement club.”
“I applaud you and look forward to all that you do in the future,” Williams wrote in an Instagram post. “Welcome to the retirement club. And thank you for being you @rogerfederer.”