Serena Williams bowed out of tennis after losing to Ajla Tomljanović at the US Open, although she didn’t commit entirely to retirement.
Williams revealed before the tournament that she expected it to be her last, with her planning to ‘evolve’ into a different phase of her life afterwards.
She came through two rounds unscathed, always to rapturous applause on Arthur Ashe, but Australian Tomljanović proved too strong for her.
The opening exchanges were very tightly contested, and Serena had a chance to win the first set when she was a break up.
Tomljanović, though, turned that set on its head to pinch It 7-5. Serena responded by taking the second set on a tiebreak to set up a tense decider.
That tension was perhaps too much for Serena on such an emotional occasion with so much at stake. She started it brilliantly with a break, but Tomljanović wrestled back control of the match and took her sixth match point to close out a 7-5, 6-7, 6-1 win to bring the curtain down on Williams’ incredible career.
Asked if she might reconsider her retirement in her on-court interview, Serena said: "I should have started sooner this year!
“I don't think so, but you never know! I don't know."
However, that seems unlikely, especially given the emotion in the rest of her words.
“Thank you, Daddy,” Serena said on court afterwards through tears. “I know you’re watching.
“It all started with my parents, and they deserve everything.
“I wouldn’t be Serena if there wasn’t Venus. She’s the only reason Serena Williams ever existed. It’s been a fun ride.
"I'm so grateful to every single person that has ever said 'go Serena!' in their life. I'm just so grateful. You got me here.”
Serena Williams retires from tennis with an Open Era record 23 majors to her name. She is one short of Margaret Court’s all-time record, but that is immaterial really. She is the GOAT and there is simply no denying it.
For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to bookmark our home page.