Serena Williams has bowed out of the US Open and headed into retirement on Friday after a battling loss to Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic while world number one Daniil Medvedev crushed the giant-killing dreams of Chinese youngster Wu Yibing with an emphatic victory.
At the Billie Jean King Tennis Center’s main Arthur Ashe Stadium, 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams finally met her match in Tomljanovic, losing 7-5, 6-7, 4-7, 6-1 in an attritional slug-fest lasting more than three hours.
The defeat was almost certainly Williams’ last ever appearance in Grand Slam singles event, the final act of a 27-year professional career of the 40-year-old American sporting and cultural icon.
The emotional Williams in an on-court interview following her loss said;
“It’s been the most incredible ride and journey I’ve ever been on, I mean, in my life.“I’m just so grateful to every single person that’s ever said, ‘Go, Serena,’ in their life. You got me here.”
Although Williams has not definitively announced her retirement, she had earlier mentioned in a Vogue magazine last month that she would “evolve” away from tennis after the US Open.
Golf superstar Tiger Woods and former US first lady Michelle Obama, in separate tweets, were among a legion of admirers who paid tribute to Williams following her US Open exit.
Writing by Chinasa Ossai; Editing by Annabel Nwachukwu