Serena Williams’ legendary tennis career may be over after third-round singles loss at US Open – CNN

Serena Williams' legendary tennis career may be over after third-round singles loss at US Open - CNN

The 23-time grand slam singles champion leaves an indelible mark, not only on tennis, but on all sports.

Tomljanović, who won the more than three-hour match 7-5 6-7(4) 6-1, advances to the round of 16 at the US Open for the first time.

In an on-court interview with ESPN after the match, Williams was asked if she would reconsider her development away from tennis, because she put it.

“I don’t think so, but you never know,” she said.

In a happy interview full of tears she thanked her parents, saying that she is very grateful to them because they started everything.

And she credited her older sister, Venus Williams, for her success.

“I wouldn’t be Serena if it wasn’t for Venus,” she said. “She’s the only reason why Serena Williams ever existed.”

Tomljanovic said she was sorry because “I love Serena as much as you guys.”

“What she has done for me, for the sport of tennis, is unbelievable,” she said in her interview on court. “I never thought I’d get a chance to play her in her last match when I remember watching her as a kid in all those finals, so this is a surreal moment for me.”

Tomljanovic was asked how she handled the opportunity to be in this electrifying environment at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“I just thought she was going to hit me, you know,” Tomljanovic said. “The pressure wasn’t on me. She’s Serena. I didn’t think I — even until the last point I knew she was in a really good position to win even when she was down 5-1. I don’t know. how much of match points I needed to finish it, but that’s just who she is. She’s the greatest of all time, period.”

After her unlikely second round victory over Anett KontaveitSerena Williams, 40, summed up her surprising performances at the US Open better than maybe anyone else could.
Serena and Venus Williams knocked out of doubles' play by Czech duo at US Open

“I’m just Serena,” she said matter-of-factly, a quote that will undoubtedly go down as one of the most memorable in sports.

That ability to find another gear and dig even deeper in the most difficult moments has provided the basis for Williams’ continued success for more than 20 years on the Tour.

She showed the same grit and determination Friday when world No. 46 Tomljanović was at the top of her game.

Williams, arguably the greatest women’s tennis player ever, fought back five match points before a shot into the net ended it.

“I tried,” Williams said. “Garlic just played a little bit better.”

The crowd of 23,859 inside Arthur Ashe Stadium for the night session tried Williams to another victory but tonight, the winner of 847 career matches and 73 titles was second best.

Given her form coming into the US Open — just one win since returning to the circuit in June after a year out with injury — it was fair to assume that Williams’ opening round match against Danka Kovinic would be little more than an emotional farewell. of tennis for the 23-time grand slam champion.

But being “just Serena”, Williams produced by far her best tennis of the season to fully dispatch Kovinic and extended her last dance in New York by several days.

Then came Kontaveit, the world number 2 and one of the toughest players on Tour. The Estonian would provide a much sterner test than Kovinic and Williams undoubtedly went into their match as the considerable underdog.

Serena Williams raised her game during the US Open.

Surely, after two glittering decades at the top, this is where Williams’ career will end? Of course it didn’t. She is, after all, “just Serena.”

In her three-set win over Kontaveit, Williams raised her level of tennis to a place many thought she might not be able to reach again. The accuracy and power in her widely feared serve seems to have returned, as does her speed around the court.

Tomljanovic reached a career-high ranking of 38 this season and has enjoyed some notable success in 2022, including quarterfinals at Wimbledon and the recent Cincinnati Open.

On Friday she was steady as she had only 30 unforced errors to Williams’ 51.

She will face Russian Liudmila Samsonova in the round of 16. Samsonova defeated Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia 6-3, 6-3.

CNN’s Matias Grez contributed to this report.

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