Serena Williams, one of the greatest tennis players of all time, has called time on her career after a thrilling three set US Open defeat to Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic.
Serena Williams was emotional after losing what is likely to be her final ever match at the US Open.
Serena Williams appeared to confirm her retirement from tennis in emotional scenes after she crashed out of the US Open courtesy of a third round defeat at the hands of Ajla Tomljanovic.
Williams, who turns 41 later this month, had revealed earlier this year that she would walk away from tennis for good following her home major. But there was to be no fairytale ending for the 23-time major singles champion, who was unable to overcome Tomljanovic at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The American fought back valiantly after losing the opening set, but she eventually succumbed to her opponent, currently ranked 46 in the world rankings, 7-5 6-7 (4-7) 6-1, to bring her illustrious career to an end.
The defeat brings Williams’ dream of claiming a record-equalling 24th grand slam singles titles to an end at the very same stadium where she won her first major singles title back in 1999.
And the tennis superstar couldn’t hold back the tears when discussing her exit after the match. She said: “I thank everyone that’s here, that’s been on my side so many years, decades. Oh my gosh, literally decades.
“But it all started with my parents. And they deserve everything. So I’m really grateful for them. And I wouldn’t be Serena if there wasn’t [sister] Venus, so thank you, Venus. She’s the only reason that Serena Williams ever existed.”
Williams had rolled back the years to advance to the third round at Flushing Meadows
Williams insisted that she was “evolving” away from the sport that she has dominated for over two decades rather than using the term retirement when she confirmed her plans, but she appeared to reiterate that was still the plan after her defeat at the hands of the impressive Tomljanovic.