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Serena Williams announces retirement, wishing she could feel as Ash Barty did

Serena Williams has announced her pending retirement in an article she has penned in Vogue.

The tennis superstar revealed she is putting away her racket because, at 40, she really wants a second child (and her daughter is campaigning hard for a little sister). But she talks about the conflict that creates in her mind, with her ambitions in tennis at war with her love of motherhood.

Australia’s Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam titles is of course the one Williams didn’t beat. With 23 grand slams, she was one tournament away from equalling it. In the article Williams says, “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want that record.”

There are people who say I’m not the GOAT because I didn’t pass Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam titles, which she achieved before the “open era” that began in 1968. 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 grand slam final, then yes, I am thinking about that record. Maybe I thought about it too much, and that didn’t help. The way I see it, I should have had 30-plus grand slams. I had my chances after coming back from giving birth. I went from a C-section to a second pulmonary embolism to a grand slam final. I played while breastfeeding. I played through postpartum depression. But I didn’t get there. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. I didn’t show up the way I should have or could have. But I showed up 23 times, and that’s fine. Actually it’s extraordinary. But these days, if I have to choose between building my tennis résumé and building my family, I choose the latter.

Williams is candid about her reticence in making the decision, reflecting that she wished she could welcome retirement the way that Australia’s Ash Barty did:

I know that a lot of people are excited about and look forward to retiring, and I really wish I felt that way. Ashleigh Barty was number one in the world when she left the sport this March, and I believe she really felt ready to move on.

Key events

Australia will consider funding Solomon Islands elections if asked, Pacific Minister says

Pat Conroy, the minister for the Pacific, has just appeared on ABC Radio following his return from a trip to Honiara where he met with Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare.

The visit follows a bid by the Solomon Islands government to delay upcoming elections until after the Pacific Games in December next year, which has raised alarm.

Solomon Islands opposition members have suggested Australia could fund the election, Conroy is asked if he is open to that:

He says as far as the parliamentary bill being debated about that decision is concerned, “this is a question for the Solomon Islands parliament and the people of the Solomon Islands.”

Asked if he will offer monetary support, if this is the barrier, Conroy responds:

I think it’s very important we respect the internal processes of other countries, historically we have provided funding for elections and if asked we would consider such requests.

Would Australia be concerned about the delaying of an election?

“we believe that having regular election cycles is a key aspect of democratic norms and values we share across the region.. we are going to respect the internal processes of neighbouring countries”

@PatConroy1

— RN Breakfast (@RNBreakfast) August 9, 2022

Serena Williams announces retirement, wishing she could feel as Ash Barty did

Serena Williams has announced her pending retirement in an article she has penned in Vogue.

The tennis superstar revealed she is putting away her racket because, at 40, she really wants a second child (and her daughter is campaigning hard for a little sister). But she talks about the conflict that creates in her mind, with her ambitions in tennis at war with her love of motherhood.

Australia’s Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam titles is of course the one Williams didn’t beat. With 23 grand slams, she was one tournament away from equalling it. In the article Williams says, “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want that record.”

There are people who say I’m not the GOAT because I didn’t pass Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam titles, which she achieved before the “open era” that began in 1968. 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 grand slam final, then yes, I am thinking about that record. Maybe I thought about it too much, and that didn’t help. The way I see it, I should have had 30-plus grand slams. I had my chances after coming back from giving birth. I went from a C-section to a second pulmonary embolism to a grand slam final. I played while breastfeeding. I played through postpartum depression. But I didn’t get there. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. I didn’t show up the way I should have or could have. But I showed up 23 times, and that’s fine. Actually it’s extraordinary. But these days, if I have to choose between building my tennis résumé and building my family, I choose the latter.

Williams is candid about her reticence in making the decision, reflecting that she wished she could welcome retirement the way that Australia’s Ash Barty did:

I know that a lot of people are excited about and look forward to retiring, and I really wish I felt that way. Ashleigh Barty was number one in the world when she left the sport this March, and I believe she really felt ready to move on.

NSW train lines suspended as union strikes

NSW train commuters are being affected by industrial action, with some services cancelled as the rail union continues its campaign to secure changes to a new fleet of intercity trains and reach a new enterprise bargaining agreement, AAP reports.

Sydney Trains chief executive Matt Longland said the strike would affect about 70,000 commuters who regularly travel on Sydney’s T4 Eastern line, the Illawarra and South Coast lines.

Services will operate normally until about 9am, when trains will be taken back to stabling yards and depots before the industrial action starts at 10am.

He told Sydney radio 2GB this morning:

We won’t be back to a full timetable on the T4 service until around about five or 5.30 in the afternoon,.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union secretary Alex Claassens said the train services should not have been suspended, with about 90% of train crews still available to work. He said on Monday:

If (the network) is shut down, it will be because transport bureaucrats have simply decided they don’t want to run the trains, not because they can’t.

Good morning!

The Chinese ambassador to Australia, Xiao Qian, will address the National Press Club today after officials in Beijing warned Australia to stop criticising China’s military drills near Taiwan.

The Albanese government is calling for a de-escalation of tensions in the region, as acting prime minister Richard Marles has affirmed on ABC Breakfast Television this morning.

In more diplomatic news, Australia yesterday committed $16.68m to the Solomon Islands to support preparations for the Pacific Games. Manasseh Sogavare’s government has said it wants to extend parliament until after it hosts the 2023 games.

Minister for the Pacific Pat Conroy will be speaking soon on ABC Radio. We’ll bring you those updates.

An Australian Council of Trade Unions discussion paper is also out this morning, criticising the Reserve Bank’s over-reliance on interest rates to contain inflation.

The government’s jobs and skills summit in September remains a hot ticket but when Labor announced the event it was unclear whether opposition members would receive the invite. We now know Labor has invited opposition leader Peter Dutton to the September summit with treasurer Jim Chalmers saying it is a sign the federal government is serious about finding common ground.

Let’s jump in!





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