Serena Williams’ storied career possibly came to an end following a third-round loss to Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic at the US Open.
The American tennis legend, who remains one shy of Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slams, went down fighting 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-1 on Friday night at the Arthur Ashe Court at Flushing Meadows to bow out of her home Grand Slam teary-eyed, receiving moving tributes from her vanquisher as well as from a host of tennis legends and icons from other walks of life.
Reactions | ‘Thank you for inspiring us’, ‘GOAT’, ‘Unique’ and more from Serena’s peers
She turns 41 this month and recently told the world that she is ready to start “evolving” away from her playing days — she expressed distaste for the word “retirement” — and while she remained purposely vague about whether this appearance at Flushing Meadows definitely would represent her last hurrah, everyone assumed it will be.
“It’s been the most incredible ride and journey I’ve ever been on in my life,” Williams said, tears streaming down her cheeks shortly after one final shot landed in the net. “I’m so grateful to every single person that’s ever said, ‘Go, Serena!’ in their life.”
Words cannot describe what #Serena has meant to us all. pic.twitter.com/a4YvBgNhOL
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 3, 2022
Asked during an on-court interview whether she might reconsider walking away, Williams replied: “I don’t think so, but you never know.”
Read: Serena the ‘greatest of all time’, says her US Open third round conqueror Tomljanovic
With her days as an active player likely coming to an end, we take a look at some statistics from Serena’s glorious run spanning more than two decades:
— Serena has the most Grand Slam wins (23) among active players. While she has won seven titles each at Wimbledon at the Australian Open, she has won her home Grand Slam six times starting all the way back in 1999. She has also won the French Open thrice.
— She’s also a six-time doubles champion at Wimbledon and has won the same at the Australian Open four times and twice each at the US Open and French Open.
— Serena won Olympic singles gold at the London Games in 2012, while having won doubles gold thrice (2000, 2008 and 2012).
— Serena is one of the four players to have a Career Golden Slam in singles, the others being Steffi Graf, Andre Agassi, and Rafael Nadal. She’s also one of the nine players in the history of the sport to achieve the same in doubles. Additionally, she’s the only player in tennis to complete a Career Golden Slam in both singles and doubles.
— She has a total of 73 WTA titles, the fifth-highest in the all-time list.
— Serena’s also third in the all-time list with most time spent at the No 1 spot. She had eight different No 1 reigns from 2002 to 2017 for a total of 319 weeks.
— Serena finishes with an overall match record of 858-156, with a Grand Slam W/L record of 367-56. The same for the US Open reads 108-15.
With inputs from AP
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