Serena Williams on Friday night brought an end to her tennis career with a dramatic three-set, 7-5. 6-7, 6-1 loss to Australian Tomljanovic at the US open tennis championships.
The tennis queen had announced that the tournament would be her last as she moves on to other things in her life.
At the end of the match, Williams was overwhelmed with emotion, but remained reflective on her career and extended gratitude to those who made it possible for her to become the great tennis player she has been.
Serena Williams who burst into tears after the defeat to Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round of the US Open thanked her family, including father Richard and mother Oracene amid tears on the center of Arthur Ashe stadium.
“Thank you Daddy, I know you’re watching. Thanks Mom. Oh my God,” Williams said post-match.
“I just [want to] 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,” she said.
Williams then went on to mention her elder sister Venus, for her instrumental role in the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion’s career.
“I wouldn’t be Serena if it wasn’t [for] Venus, so, thank you, Venus. She’s the only reason that Serena Williams ever existed,” Williams said.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 3, 2022
This looks like the end of Williams on the tennis court professionally as she desires to ‘evolve’ and grow her family.
“Thank you everyone,” were the last words from Williams before departing Arthur Ashe as the music ends for the greatest player of the women’s Open era.
Many on social media have been paying their tributes to Williams after her defeat that brings an end to her career.
Her incredible career made its mark on tennis history.
And yet her greatest contributions may be yet to come.
Thank you, @serenawilliams.
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) September 3, 2022
.@serenawilliams you’re literally the greatest on and off the court. Thank you for inspiring all of us to pursue our dreams. I love you little sis!!!!!!
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) September 3, 2022
Congrats on an amazing career, @SerenaWilliams!
How lucky were we to be able to watch a young girl from Compton grow up to become one of the greatest athletes of all time.
I’m proud of you, my friend—and I can’t wait to see the lives you continue to transform with your talents. pic.twitter.com/VWONEMAwz3
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) September 3, 2022
thank you @serenawilliams for transcending sports for black athletes, female athletes and every athlete🤍
such a pleasure to watch, thanks for being an inspiration
— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) September 3, 2022
What a run. @serenawilliams will be leaving behind an extraordinary tennis career that challenged the double standard between male and female players. I look forward to watching her continue building her amazing legacy off the court. https://t.co/K9Hxa2jB3I
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) September 3, 2022