The 23-time Grand Slam Champion , Serena Williams lost 7-5, 6-7, 6-1 to Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round at Flushing Meadows on Friday.
Serena Williams : Ajla Tomljanović | Knocked out
|September 26, 1981
Saginaw, Michigan, U.S.
|5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
|Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
This includes a non-calendar year Grand Slam between the 2009 Wimbledon Championships and the 2010 French Open, which granted the sisters the doubles world No. 1 ranking. She won four Olympic gold medals, three in women’s doubles—an all-time joint record shared with her sister.
She has also won two major mixed doubles titles, both in 1998. In August 2022, Williams announced her impending retirement from professional tennis.
Williams is widely considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time.
The arrival of the Williams sisters has been credited with ushering in a new era of power and athleticism on the women’s professional tennis tour.
Serena Williams’ dreams of a fairytale finish to her glittering career were left in ruins on Friday as the tennis icon was sent crashing out of the US Open by Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic.
The 40-year-old Williams — who last month signalled she planned to retire after the Open — was beaten 7-5, 6-7 (4/7) 6-1 by Tomljanovic in a gruelling 3-hour 5-minute battle.
Williams, a sporting and cultural icon who amassed 23 Grand Slam singles titles in her 27-year career, poured everything into one last stand in front of a ferociously partisan crowd at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
But the veteran wilted visibly in the decisive third set, wearied by the demands of a heroic second set display that saw her level the match in a tie break.
As Tomljanovic raced into a 5-1 lead in the third, Williams summoned every last drop of her fighting spirit to stave off defeat, saving five match points in a marathon seventh game before finally succumbing.
Afterwards Williams saluted the crowd, welling up as Tina Turner’s anthem “Simply the Best” belted out around the stands.
A defiant Serena Williams bid an emotional good-bye to the US Open with a third-round loss to Ajla Tomljanovic on Friday, in what may have been the last singles match of her glittering career.
Defeat has always been hard to swallow for the fiercely competitive Williams and no doubt the 7-5 6-7 (4) 6-1 loss to the 46th ranked Australian stung her to her core.
But after a joyous run into the third round there was no shame in a loss to the gritty Tomljanovic, allowing the 23-times Grand Slam winner to exit with dignity intact and head held high.
Her three matches, highlighted by a second-round win over world number two Anett Kontaveit, were a gift to her fans, the relentless never surrender attitude that made her tennis’ dominant player for over two decades on display right until the very final point.
Always up for a fight, the 40-year-old came out swinging, forcing Tomljanovic to go the distance. The Australian needed six match points to deliver the knockout punch and bring an end to an engrossing three-plus-hour slugfest.
Williams had signalled her intention to retire last month, saying she was “evolving away from tennis” but never confirming the US Open as her final event.