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Serena Williams Begins the Not-Too-Long Goodbye

As a champion who says she hates goodbyes, Serena Williams could have made her exit from tennis in other ways.

In a news release or Instagram post; by post-match interview or by simply walking away and staying away without formalizing her farewell.

Instead, by making it plain this week that the end is very near, Williams has given herself and her vast public some runway to do the job just right, an extended — but not too extended — opportunity to do justice to Williams’s long and phenomenal career.

“Savor every match,” said Tracy Austin, the former No.