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Serena Williams Ends One of the Greatest Careers in Tennis

With 23 Grand Slam titles during her storied career, Serena Williams is expected to retire after losing in the third round of the US Open.
Serena Williams Ends One of the Greatest Careers in Tennis

Arguably the greatest career in the history of tennis has seemingly come to an end. Serena Williams is out of the 2022 US Open after a 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 6-1 loss to Ajla Tomljanovic on Friday night, reports CBS Sports.

Serena Williams' 2022 US Open run ends with three-set loss to Ajla Tomljanovic (CBS Sports)

Excerpt from CBS News: It was a tight match throughout, highlighted by big momentum swings and incredible shot-making by both players. But what will be remembered more than anything that happened in the actual match will be the lasting image of what very-well may be the final time Williams took the court at the US Open. The 40-year-old, 23-time Grand Slam champion's plan to move away from tennis has been well documented since she made the announcement in early August that her playing days were coming to a close as she looks forward to growing her family and business ventures. While there will be a lifetime to grow and nurture her home life as she transitions away from the court, this night was about her lifetime spent on it. Over the last two decades, Williams has regularly said she gets every player's best shot, and that's what she got in her third-round loss to Tomljanovic, whose grit and mental toughness were reminiscent of the icon across the net.
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According to Dan Wolken for USA Today, there is almost never a moment when Arthur Ashe Stadium is completely silent. It is too big, too vacuous. There are too many people scurrying to seats, having hushed conversations or clinking glasses filled with $22 cocktails. When tennis players come into this oversized den of concrete and steel, they know it is not supposed to be either quiet or comfortable.

Serena Williams falls at US Open, likely ending one of the most storied careers in tennis (USA Today)

Excerpt from USA Today: Serena Williams stepped to the line for what was probably going to be the final match of a forever career, there was no discernible sound at all. The usual din and hum of nearly 24,000 people packed into the place had melted into an eerie nothingness, as though all those sets of eyes were locked onto the one person who had the power to deliver a moment that would stay in their memory forever. To look with that much awe and intensity at Williams at this stage of her tennis life is to wonder what’s left inside from the player she once was, to see how deep her reservoir of greatness still reaches. She announced this U.S. Open would probably be her final tournament because she knows how much harder it is to conjure those championship qualities at this stage of the game, how demanding it is on the body and mind, even if her tennis on occasion is still good enough to compete with the best players on the planet.
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As the first week of the U.S. Open Championships draws to a close, the tennis world, in fact the sports world, is enthralled with Serena Williams like never before in her 20-plus years of dominance. Why? Because she's turning a moment that was supposed to be about her legacy, into a moment about her tennis, writes NPR.

Watching in the stands or on television, Serena Williams has dazzled in the U.S. Open (NPR)

Excerpt from NPR: She set the stage for this special Open by writing last month that likely it would be her last. New York responded as only New York could, feting her with video tributes by Queen Latifah and Oprah Winfrey. The big screens around Arthur Ashe stadium projected a steady stream of famous faces who came to pay their respects. The biggest to-do happened the night of Williams' first round match against Danka Kovinic of Montenegro – of course it was respectful to get in all the messages of "we love you, you're the GOAT Serena" on the tournament's first night. But truth be told, the way Williams had been playing since she returned from a year-long injury absence, there was a chance she might not be around long enough to receive all the love. But then she beat Kovinic in straight sets. Two nights later, the tributes were there again, albeit toned down, while Williams' game continued to rev up. She beat number-two seed Anett Kontaveit in three sets. And suddenly, the evolution (Williams' preferred word) from legacy to tennis, was in full swing
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The greatest female athlete of all time—check that: perhaps the greatest athlete of all time—has been thinking a lot about the reason she’s vowed to hang up her racket for good, writes Sean Gregory for TIME.

What Serena Williams Gave the World (TIME)

Excerpt from TIME: "Olympia doesn’t like when I play tennis," Serena Williams says plainly about her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. When Williams told Olympia, who turns 5 on Sept. 1, that she was soon to be done with the life that made her an inspiration to millions, Olympia’s reply was as joyful as her mother’s celebrations after so many Grand Slam wins: a fist-pumping "Yes!" Williams says, "That kind of makes me sad," leaning forward in her chair in the library of a New York City hotel. "And brings anxiety to my heart." No kid understands their parent’s absence. But Williams has spent the last few years of her incomparable career tormented by what she’s been sacrificing in order to keep going. "It’s hard to completely commit," says Williams, "when your flesh and blood is saying, Aw."
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Serena Williams gave an emotional speech after what could be her final tennis match on Friday night in the third round of the US Open, reports ESPN.

Serena Williams' dream run at US Open ends with third-round loss to Ajla Tomljanović (ESPN)

Excerpt from ESPN: "Thank you daddy, I know you're watching. Thanks mom," Williams said before starting to cry during her post match on-court interview with ESPN's Mary Joe Fernandez. "Everyone that's here, that's been on my side, for decades, literally decades. These are happy tears, I guess. I don't know. And I wouldn't be Serena if there wasn't Venus, so thank you Venus. She's the only reason Serena Williams ever existed. It's been a fun ride. It's been the most incredible ride of my life."
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