Amid news of her retirement, Yahoo Finance reporter Josh Schafer looks at how tennis legend Serena Williams impacted her sport.
DAVE BRIGGS: The GOAT-- 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams plans to retire from tennis after the US Open. Williams penned an essay for "Vogue" and clarified she doesn't like the word retirement and thinks of this as, quote, "evolving away from tennis."
Williams has become one of the greatest players in the sport with four Olympic gold medals. Yahoo Finance's Josh Schafer joining us now. Josh, I think there's only one person you can say had a Tiger-like effect on sports, with the caveat that no one will ever impact their sport the way Tiger did.
JOSH SCHAFER: starts with the same thing. She's Serena, right? She's not Serena Williams. She's Serena. And that's kind of what I wanted to look at today when you look at her impact on tennis and women's sports as a whole, and what Serena was able to do. So we can pull up-- we have right there how much money she made-- $94 million just off tennis winnings. That's more than double the next closest person, who, of course, is her sister, Venus Williams.
But when you really kind of peel the onion back at Serena's impact, it gets into what she was able to do beyond the tennis court and the brands that she was able to engage with as a female athlete. She's been involved with brands like Nike, Gatorade, which is owned by Pepsi, Michelob Ultra, which is owned by Anheuser-Busch. She had to deal with Beats, which was owned by Apple, Gucci is a world renowned brand. She penned this thing in "Vogue."
And I think that that's where Serena sort of reaches beyond where a lot of women's athletes has-- I was talking to Angela Ruggiero who we've had on the show before-- she works for Sports Innovation Lab, she's the CEO over there, and she's a former Olympian herself-- and she was talking a lot about what Serena did was sort of go that next level of it's beyond sports, she's unequivocally herself.
And that's how you sort of brand yourself. And I think that's what stands out to me about Serena Williams. Rachelle, what really stood out to you about Serena and watching her? To me, it was always how fiery she was and how competitive she was I think is what stands out.
RACHELLE AKUFFO: I mean, for me it's the same thing with Roger Federer-- her ability to cover the court, for me, is absolutely unmatched. I mean, she's the reason that my little nine-year-old plays tennis, because not just being able to see someone who looks like you, but to be athletic, and to be such a savvy businesswoman when you look at what she did with Serena Ventures-- really expanding beyond the court.
And what you see happen with pay equity-- obviously, when you have someone who wins as much as she does, that's the sort of thing that brings that conversation about equity when it comes to pay in these sports. So I mean, a legend, and we'll certainly continue to watch what she does, it'll be sad not to see her on the courts anymore.
JOSH SCHAFER: And I think that that's something that we're going to see as her career carries on, right? I mean, she's only 40. And she's now going to be able to go deeper into Serena Ventures, which we know had over $100 million funding round back in May. And they're investing in diverse groups. They've invested in over 60 companies already. Where does that go and where does Serena have a presence off the court I think is going to be a fun thing to watch, Dave.
DAVE BRIGGS: And how many players try to fill the Serena void, like we saw with Tiger Woods? No one can. It'll take two or three to do so. Josh Schafer, good stuff.