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Retired tennis star hosts ESPYs

LOS ANGELES – Serena Williams returns to the sports spotlight to host the ESPYs in July.

The retired 23-time Grand Slam tennis champion will be the fourth woman to headline the show celebrating the achievements, athletes and moments of the past year. The ESPYs air on July 11 from the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.

Megan Rapinoe, Sue Bird and Russell Wilson co-hosted the 2020 show, which was virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Danica Patrick was the first woman to present solo in 2018, shortly after retiring from car racing.

“This is a dream come true for me, and something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember,” Williams said in a statement Tuesday. “It has been a sensational year for the sport and an unprecedented year for female athletes. I can’t wait to celebrate everyone on stage in July.”

Williams won 12 ESPYs during her tennis career.

The ESPYs will follow on July 10 with the premiere of “In the Arena: Serena Williams,” an eight-part series about her career airing on ESPN+.

Williams retired after the 2022 US Open and has since devoted her time to things like a makeup line that debuted in April and a venture capital firm that invests in women and founders of color in early-stage companies. She gave birth to her second daughter last August.