After losing in the third round of the U.S. Open against Ajla Tomljanovi on Friday evening, Serena Williams appeared to say goodbye to tennis with one last twirl.
Since Williams revealed in early August that she would be “evolving away” from the game, many fans feared seeing her walk off the court in loss. Williams has won 23 Grand Slam titles. Even after her defeat, Williams, the ultimate competitor, continued to give fans reason to believe that her career was not over.
When questioned in her post-match interview if she would contemplate coming back, Williams smiled and replied, “I don’t think so, but you never know. I don’t know.” Although Williams’ response may have been influenced by the heat of the moment, fans still hold out hope that she would return to the sport she has dominated for over two decades. However, it turns out that she is looking forward to the future.
Williams seemed to imply when she was asked in her post-match press conference if she was having second thoughts about retiring. After she gave the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd the impression that she had more to contribute, she was asked what it would take to bring her back.
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“I don’t know. I’m not thinking about that,” said Williams, who turns 41 in 24 days. “I always did love Australia, though [smiling]. But yeah, you know what, I’ve come a long way since last year at Wimbledon. Just not sure if that was my last moment or not. Making it a different moment I think is much better. It takes a lot of work to get here. Clearly I’m still capable. It takes a lot more than that.”
“I’m ready to, like, be a mom, explore a different version of Serena. Technically in the world I’m still super young, so I want to have a little bit of a life while I’m still walking.”
Although Williams has only been back on the court for around three months, she admits it has been a challenging year overall since she tore her hamstring at Wimbledon in June of 2021. Williams was knocked out of The Championships by Harmony Tan in the first round despite having won a doubles match at a Wimbledon 2022 tune-up tournament in June.
Williams’s farewell match was only her eighth singles match of 2022, but it allowed fans worldwide one last look at the legendary champion on a grand stage. Williams’s match against Tomljanovi was the longest of her U.S. Open career, lasting three hours and five minutes.
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