Legendary tennis player Seren Williams is thought to have ended her illustrious career on Friday after losing in the third round to Ajla Tomljanovic at the US Open.
According to The Washington Examiner, the event took place in Flushing, New York, and the crowd included Williams' sister, Venus. Williams, 40, is a 23-time Grand Slam champion and a former world No. 1.
Williams lost 7-5, 6-7, 6-1 in a contest that lasted more than three hours where she saved multiple match points against her opponent.
"These are happy tears, I guess. I don't know," Williams said in a post-game interview. "And I wouldn't be Serena if it wasn't Venus. Thank you, Venus."
"I wouldn't be Serena if there wasn't Venus."@serenawilliams 💙 @Venuseswilliams pic.twitter.com/C7RZXcf23E
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 3, 2022
With a shocking victory over world No. 2 Anett Kontaveit in the second round, she had momentarily put off her retirement. Williams, who became well-known in the sport with her sister after winning the U.S. Open in 1999, last claimed a Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in 2017. On Thursday, Serena and her sister lost in doubles.
In a cover story for Vogue earlier this year, Williams—who gave birth to daughter Alexis Olivia in 2017—announced that she would be "evolving away" from tennis following the U.S. Open. Williams' daughter has shown a desire to be a big sister, and after the U.S. Open, growing her family will be one of her top objectives.
"I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn't feel like a modern word to me," Serena Williams said in the piece. "I've been thinking of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people. Maybe the best word to describe what I'm up to is evolution. I'm here to tell you that I'm evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me."
When asked if she would reconsider after losing at the U.S. Open, she responded that it was unlikely. The tennis pro participated in two major competitions this year, including Wimbledon and the Canadian Open, where she lost in the opening round.