One of the greatest sports icons in history, Serena Williams, has officially ended her successful competitive career.
The American champion lost 5:7, 7:6, 1:6 to Ayla Tomljanovic in a match of the third round of the US Open tournament, which she had previously announced would be her last tournament.
After two matches in which Williams dramatically saved herself from defeat and continued her fairy tale, she was already forced to wave goodbye on an equally emotional night.
Once again the stands of the largest tennis arena “Arthur Ashe” were performed to the limit. Fans and celebrities alike didn’t want to miss a single moment of what might be Serena’s last match, and this time it really turned out to be one.
Three weeks before her 41st birthday, she took the match to three sets, saved a total of five match points, but ultimately had to accept defeat.
Thus, Serena leaves the big stage with 23 Grand Slam titles – just one less than the record holder in this regard, Margaret Court.
The American relentlessly dominated women’s tennis for 15 years, with a career total of 73 titles. She also has four Olympic gold medals, as well as 319 weeks spent as No. 1 in the world rankings.
But Serena’s career is not just dry statistics, she is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable names in world sport in general and one of its brightest historical figures.
Quite expectedly, there were also many tears after the end of the match. Both from Serena herself and from many people in the stands as their favorite waved to Tina Turner’s “Simply the best” in the background.
“Thank you all. To those who were by my side for so many years, decades. God, it really has been decades.
But it all started with his parents, they deserve everything. I am truly extremely grateful to them.
I wouldn’t have dreamed of Serena if it wasn’t for Venus, thanks to her too. She is the other main reason Serena Williams exists.
My daughter Olympia, my husband, always a man in my camp. It was the most amazing journey”said an emotional Serena.
Her professional career began as early as 1995, with her first major breakthrough coming in 1999 at the same venue, when she won the US Open at the age of 19.
She showed character today, especially when winning the second set with a tiebreak, in the decisive third part, her strength simply left her and with 1:6 she was unable to oppose the world No. 46.
Ajla Tomljanovic herself said after the match that she did not expect to win at all and she really regrets that she is the person who ended this great career.
“Serena is the greatest. I can’t believe this is happening. I thought she was going to beat me, and to play in the last match of her career is just unreal. I will miss her on the court, tennis will not be the same without her”shared the young Australian, who advanced to the fourth round of the US Open.