AceShowbiz - Serena Williams is concluding her career with a defeat in the U.S. Open on Friday, September 2. The tennis star was knocked out of the tournament in the third round after going against Ajla Tomljanovic with 7-5, 6-7 (4/7), 6-1.
Following the match, Serena delivered an emotional speech on the court while giving a special shout-out to her older sister Venus Williams in the process. "I wouldn't be Serena if there wasn't Venus. She's the only reason Serena Williams ever existed," the 40-year-old tennis icon said through tears to a roaring audience. "I tried but Ajla was better," Serena continued.
The 23-time Grand Slam winner also paid tribute to her parents, father Richard Williams and mom Oracene Price. "Thank you, Daddy. I know you are watching…thanks mom…It all started with my parents and they deserve everything so I am really grateful to them. These are happy tears. Thank you, Venus. It has been a fun ride," she said.
Fans, meanwhile, were praising Serena regardless the results. "She's still amazing! To compete at this level after such a long career is wild. Congrats legend!" one person raved in an Instagram comment. "She came, saw and conquered," another user added.
"When she said she would have been nothing without Venus… man I almost lost it. Sister Love be so real," one other wrote. Some others heaped praises on Serena by calling her "the queen of tennis," "GOAT" and "an amazing woman."
Serena retires with a history-making career. She won 73 singles titles, 23 of which were Grand Slam wins. She also collected four Olympic gold medals, 14 grand slam doubles titles with sister Venus as well as two mixed-double titles.
Despite her amazing achievements, some people don't think that she's the GOAT because she doesn't surpass Margaret Court's 24 Grand Slams wins record, which was achieved during a time when the Grand Slam tournaments allowed professional players to compete alongside amateurs. "There are people who say I'm not the GOAT because I didn't pass Margaret Court's record of 24 grand slam titles, which she achieved before the 'open era' that began in 1968," Serena said of the matter in the September 2022 issue of Vogue.
"The way I see it, I should have had 30-plus grand slams. I had my chances after coming back from giving birth [to daughter Olympia in 2017.] I went from a C-section to a second pulmonary embolism to a grand slam final. I played while breastfeeding. I played through postpartum depression. But I didn't get there. Shoulda, woulda, coulda," she continued.
Most recently, Serena discussed her decision to walk away from tennis during her appearance in the first episode of Meghan Markle's "Archetypes" podcast. Calling the decision "challenge" as tennis has been the "one thing" defining her life, Serena shared last month, "The worst place to be is on the fence, as you know. So, it's like, 'Make a decision, either be in it or be out of it.' And I was on the fence for a while because I love what I do."