The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion leaves an indelible mark, not just on tennis, but on the whole sport.
Tomljanović, who won 7-5 6-7(4) 6-1, advanced to the round of 16 at the US Open for the first time.
In an on-court interview with ESPN after the match, Williams was asked if she would reconsider moving away from tennis, as she said.
“I don’t think so, but you never know,” she said.
In a tear-filled interview, she thanked her parents, saying she was very grateful to them because they started it all.
And she credited her older sister, Venus Williams, for her success.
“I wouldn’t be Serena if it wasn’t for Venus,” she said. “She’s the only reason Serena Williams ever existed.”
“I’m just Serena,” she said evenly, a quote that will undoubtedly go down as one of the most memorable in the sport.
This ability to find other gear and dig even deeper in the toughest times provided the foundation for Williams’ continued success for over 20 years on the Tour.
She showed the same courage and tenacity on Friday as world No. 46 Tomljanović was at the top of her game.
Williams, widely regarded as the greatest female tennis player and arguably the greatest female tennis player, fought off five match points before a shot into the net put an end to it.
Given his form at the US Open – just one win since returning to the tour in June after a year out from injury – it was fair to assume that Williams’ opener against Danka Kovinic would be little more than an emotional farewell. tennis for the 23-time Grand Slam champion.
But being “just Serena”, Williams produced by far her best tennis of the season to dispatch Kovinic perfectly and extended her last dance in New York by a few days.
Then came Kontaveit, the world No. 2 and one of the toughest players on the Tour. The Estonian would provide a much tougher test as Kovinic and Williams undoubtedly entered their game as considerable underdogs.
Surely, after two stellar decades at the top, this is where Williams’ career would end? Of course not. She is, after all, “just Serena.”
In her three-set victory over Kontaveit, Williams raised her level of tennis to a level that many thought she could no longer achieve. The accuracy and power of his widely feared serve appear to have returned, as has his speed on the court.
Tomljanovic has reached a career-high 38 this season and has had notable success in 2022, including quarter-finals at Wimbledon and the recent Cincinnati Open.
On Friday, she was stable as she had just 30 unforced errors to Williams’ 51.
#Serena #Williams #legendary #tennis #career #Open #thirdround #singles #loss