Serena Williams lost what was expected to be the final match of the night of her transcendent tennis career, losing to Adjla Tomljanovic 7-5 6-7 (4) 6-1 in the third round. . Ash Stadium.
With several spectators standing, camera phones ready and watching, Williams was unwilling to go quietly, staving off five match points and extending the proceedings over three hours. No one wanted this to end.
“It was a really fun ride,” Williams said in an on-court interview after the game.
It was Tomlijanovic’s sixth chance when Williams scored the shot.
Williams, who turned 41 this month, recently told the world she was ready to start “evolving” from her playing days — she expressed her dislike of the word “retirement” — and Flushing. It has deliberately remained vague as to whether or not this time’s appearance at Meadows is a certainty. It will be her last tournament, everyone assumes it will be.
If this really was the last hooray, she took fans on a thrilling throwback ride in the hard-court tournaments that have hosted six of her 23 Grand Slam championships. Her first meeting took place in New York in 1999, when Williams was only 17 years old.
But she fell short against Tomljanovic, a 29-year-old Australian who is ranked 46th. Williams took the lead in each set, including the final set, where she was leading 1-0 before dropping the final six games.
In a tearful court interview, the tennis legend paid tribute to her family, especially her parents and sister Venus.
“I tried, but Ajra was a little bit better.
“Thank you Daddy. I know you’re watching. Thank you Mama….I’m so grateful to them.”
“[Thanks to you]you’ve been by my side for decades, literally decades.
“It all started with my parents (mother Oracine Price and father Richard Williams) and they deserve everything.
“Crys of joy.
“Thank you Venus because without her I wouldn’t be Serena. She is the only reason Serena Williams exists.
“Everyone here who has been by my side over the years.
“It was a fun ride and the most amazing trip I’ve ever had.”
Tomljanovic also seemed emotional when asked what it meant for her name to go down in history as the last person to face Williams in a professional game.
“I’m so sorry. It’s incredible what she’s done for me for the sport.
“This is a surreal moment for me.
“I thought she would beat me. There was no pressure on me.
“She’s Selena. She’s the best ever. Period.”