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"We will miss you Serena, absolutely": Fans react to Serena Williams' plans to "evolve away" from tennis

Fans react to Serena Williams' decision to "evolve away" from tennis
Fans react to Serena Williams' decision to "evolve away" from tennis 02:26

NEW YORK - Serena Williams announced she will "evolve away" from tennis, disappointing fans everywhere. 

The leader of fashion, business and entertainment says she and her husband are focused on growing their family. 

As CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reports, tickets to the U.S. Open, which begins at the end of the month, are being snatched up. It's believed that will be the final tournament Williams will play. 

From tennis camp in Flushing to the courts at Eisenhower Park and beyond, fans are reacting with emotion to the news Williams will end her legendary career at the U.S. Open next month. 

"She's given so much inspiration to so many of us out there, including myself," said fan Pam Williams. 

"She's a very great player. I love her a lot. I will miss her," said fan Ana Diaz. 

A look at Serena Williams' career on and off the court 04:59

The 23-winning Grand Slam champ announced in a personal essay in Vogue "that time is always hard when you love something so much. My goodness, do I enjoy tennis, but now the countdown has begun. I have to focus on being a mom, my spiritual goals and finally discovering a different but just as exciting Serena." 

"The hard work she put in on the tennis court makes me want to go more," said college student Don Mays, Jr. 

She is widely considered the greatest female player of all time. 

"I wish I could be like her, so I do look up to her as a person. And we will miss you Serena, absolutely," said Chi Chi Okara-Nwassi. 

Greg Bumpass is a Long Island youth coach. 

"She came along when a lot of people weren't playing tennis after Arthur Ashe left us. So she and her sister were a big influence on the sport in our communities," he said. 

"She's already left a big legacy. She's always been involved with young students, giving free tennis clinics," said Hempstead High School tennis coach Gary Battle. 

She became the most dominant force in women's tennis in the past 30 years, transforming the sport. 

"She's a stylist, and she knows how to dress. She pops out when she comes to the arena," said Hempstead counselor Tyler Hinton. 

Williams and her husband want more children. She lamented "believe me, I never to have to choose between tennis and a family. I don't think it's fair." 

She says she is terrible at goodbyes. 

It looks like the U.S. Open will be her final swan song, ending her playing career where she won her first Grand Slam at age 17. 

Williams has earned nearly $100 million in career prize money, twice as much as any other female athlete has made. 

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