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Serena Williams loses third round match at U.S. Open

Serena Williams was defeated in her third round match at the U.S. Open on Friday, likely bringing a finish to her extraordinary singles tennis career. Before a sell-out crowd in Arthur Ashe Stadium, Ajla Tomljanovic defeated the 23-time Grand Slam champion in three tension-filled sets, 7-5, 6-7, 6-1.

Within an interview following the match, Williams thanked her fans, parents and family for his or her decades of support.

“Many thanks daddy, I understand you’re watching. Thanks mom,” Williams said, fighting back tears.

“Everything started with my parents plus they deserve everything so I’m really grateful for them,” she added. She also thanked her sister, telling the crowd, “I wouldn’t be Serena if there wasn’t Venus.”

US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 3, 2022

Unwilling to go quietly, Williams staved off five match points to prolong the three-hours-plus proceedings, as some spectators stood to view, camera phones at the ready. Nobody save, needless to say, Tomljanovic wanted this to get rid of.

It did on Tomljanovic’s sixth chance, when Williams netted a go.

If this is, indeed, the final hurrah, she took her fans on a thrill-a-minute throwback ride at the hard-court tournament that has been the website of a half-dozen of her 23 Grand Slam championships. The initial came in 1999 in NY, when Williams was just 17.

But she faltered against Tomljanovic, a 29-year-old Australian who’s ranked 46th.

Williams gave away leads in each set, like the last, where she was up 1-0 before dropping the ultimate six games.

Using one point in the next set, Williams’ feet got tangled and she fell to the court, dropping her racket. She finished with 51 unforced errors, 21 a lot more than Tomljanovic.

Williams let a 5-3 lead vanish in the initial set. She did something similar in the next, offering edges of 4-0 and 5-2, and requiring five set points to finally put that certain in her pocket. From 4-all in the tiebreaker, meaning Williams was three points from defeat, she pounded a 117 mph ace, hit a forehand winner to cap a 20-stroke exchange, then watched Tomljanovic push a forehand long.

Williams, 40, wrote in fashion last month that she actually is “evolving from tennis.” She’s hinted that year’s U.S. Open will be her last tournament, but have not explicitly stated that the ultimate Major of the entire year would also be her final competition as a specialist tennis player.

“Yeah, I am pretty vague about any of it, right?” Williams said following her win in the initial round. “I’ll stay vague, as you never know.”

Williams’ first round match against Danka Kovini of Montenegro was a star-studded affair, with famous brands Spike Lee, Francisco Lindor, former President Bill Clinton and Katie Couric in attendance. Arthur Ashe Stadium, the biggest tennis stadium on the planet, was filled with a lot more than 23,000 fans while thousands more watched on screens round the grounds of the Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Queens. It had been the biggest crowd ever for a night session at the U.S. Open, based on the Associated Press.

Following her straight sets victory, Williams was greeted by “CBS Mornings” co-host Gayle King, who hosted a short ceremony for the six-time U.S. Open champion, highlighted by way of a video narrated by Oprah.

She won again Wednesday against No. 2 seed Anett Kontaviet in a three-set, third-round match.

On Thursday, she teamed up with her sister, seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams, in doubles, however they lost in the initial round. Venus Williams, 42, lost her first round singles match to Germany’s Alison Van Uytvanck on Tuesday.

Serena Williams gets the most Grand Slam singles titles of any male or female on view Era, which began in 1968. Only Australia’s Margaret Court, whose career began ahead of that, has more, with 24 Major titles to her name.

Williams won 10 of these titles after turning 30, a lot more than any woman in the annals of the activity. Her last singles title came in 2017 at the Australian Open, where she defeated her sister in straight sets.

In anticipation of her impending retirement, tickets for the initial days at the U.S. Open became a hot commodity.

“Once Serena announced she’d play the U.S. Open, we sold-out in a nanosecond for Monday night and Tuesday night,” tournament director Stacey Allaster told The Associated Press. “You can observe on the secondary market, the get-in price is $230. I saw $5,800 for a courtside seat tonite. Look, it is a historic moment for the Williams family, for Serena and our sport.”

Williams has stated that her decision to step from the overall game of tennis is partly motivated by her need to commit additional time to her family.

“But nowadays, if I need to select from building my tennis rsum and building my children, I pick the latter,” she wrote in fashion.

Within an interview as time passes, published Monday, Williams said that her daughter, Olympia, “doesn’t like when I play tennis.”

“It’s hard to totally commit whenever your flesh and blood says, ‘Aw,'” Williams said.

The tennis icon said she’d prefer to have another child and in addition concentrate on Serena Ventures, a capital raising firm she recently started.

Along with her 23 Grand Slam singles titles, Williams also offers 14 Major doubles titles, 73 total singles titles fifth the majority of any woman on view Era and an Olympic gold medal.

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