WATCH: Tennis Channel Live discusses Serena Williams' 2022 US Open prospects.

Don’t call it a retirement, insists an ever-evolving Serena Williams at a TechCrunch conference this week.

"The chances [of me returning] are very high," the 23-time Grand Slam champion said in San Francisco while discussing Serena Ventures, her burgeoning investment company. "You can come to my house and [see]. I have a court."

Williams ostensibly played her final match at the 2022 US Open, where she endured a narrow third-round defeat to Ajla Tomljanovic. But if she were to walk the walk, how long would it actually take for the former world No. 1 to play another major tournament?

Though she is loath to refer to herself as such, Williams did, in fact, enter her name on the International Tennis Integrity Agency’s Retired Players List on September 6—one day after the loss to Tomljanovic.


According to the ITIA website, “The players listed here have declared themselves retired from the sport and may not return to sanctioned events unless they have made themselves available for out-of-competition testing for at least six months prior to the event in question.”

This effectively rules Williams and fellow “evolvee” Roger Federer—who joined the ITIA list on September 26 after playing his final match at Laver Cup alongside Rafael Nadal—out of the 2023 Australian Open, the sport’s next Grand Slam event in January.

Andy Roddick ran headlong into this issue ahead of the 2014 US Open, when he attempted to enter the men’s doubles event with good friend Mardy Fish. At the time, the ITIA only required a three-month cooling period to enter competition, but the 2003 champion, who retired in 2012, made the decision too late.

In short, if Williams wanted to make a run at, say, the 2023 Wimbledon Championships, she would need to remove herself from the ITIA list by the end of the year at the latest.