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.
Words cannot describe what #Serena has meant to us all. https://t.co/a4YvBgNhOL
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) 1662171765000
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.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) 1662171980000
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.
One final wave 🥲 https://t.co/HivoQiMDdT
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) 1662171952000
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.
Serena put up numbers we may never see again. https://t.co/OYPGaQZcAq
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) 1662172947000
What a ride it’s been.Thank you, @serenawilliams 💙 https://t.co/OEURHryJxV
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) 1662171799000
Williams had signalled her intention to retire last month, saying she was “evolving away from tennis” but never confirming the U.S. Open as her final event.