On a thrilling night in New York, Serena Williams said goodbye to the US Open and her brilliant career in tearful emotions after Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic defeated her.
Williams, who will be 41 this month, anticipates that it will be her last game.
The American will no longer be considered the best of all time as his 27-year professional career, which included 23 significant singles victories, ends.
Williams was defeated 7-5 6-7 (4-7) 6-1, and she shed tears afterward.
In what turned out to be the decisive game, the former long-time world number one turned away five match points but could not stop a sixth.
When she left the Arthur Ashe Stadium court for what she hoped would be the final time, almost everyone who could stand applauded.
This venue hosted her maiden major victory in 1999 and five of her most memorable victories in an illustrious career.
The sound system blared out Tina Turner’s hit single “Simply The Best” as she waved farewell and performed her trademark pirouette.
After her performances this week, Williams was asked whether she would think about coming out of retirement. Instead, she said, “I’m playing my way into this and becoming better.
This year, I ought to have begun earlier. But, although I doubt it, you never know.
When Williams was interviewed in the middle of the court, she was overtaken with emotion and thanked her family, team, the audience, and her fans all around the globe for their support throughout the years.
“I appreciate everyone who is here and has supported me for so long, for decades. Oh my god, literally decades,” said Williams, who competed in her first professional match in 1995 at 14.
“However, it all began with my parents. They are deserving of everything. So, they have my sincere gratitude.
And without [sister] Venus, I wouldn’t be Serena; therefore, thank you, Venus. Serena Williams has never been without her.
Tomljanovic, who will face Liudmila Samsonova of Russia in the fourth round, stood to the side and cheered Samsonova as she accepted the microphone.
The world number 46 put on a fantastic show to drown out the crowd and the feeling of occasion, as seen by her precise hitting in the closing moments of a tough match that lasted three and five minutes.