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US Open 2022: Serena Williams vs Ajla Tomljanovic live scores, updates, tennis legend stuns world


Thanks for the memories, Queen.

Serena Williams’ career is over after Aussie star Ajla Tomljanovic turned giant slayer and knocked the tennis icon out of the US Open in an epic third round match on Saturday afternoon (AEST).

Tomljanovic left the New York crowd in stunned silence as she killed the 40-year-old’s fairytale farewell.

There were insane scenes inside the famous Arthur Ashe Stadium as the home crowd went berserk for Williams.

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Tomljanovic is through to the fourth round after the tense 7-6 6-7 6-1, three-hour victory, but all the focus immediately turned to Williams, who is walking into retirement as the greatest player of all time.

The fairytale of a 24th career gland slam – a mark that would match Aussie Margaret Court’s feat — was dashed on Saturday, but Williams doesn’t need that magical number to sit right at the top in the conversations about the GOAT in women’s tennis.

It was well noted on Saturday that there was one thing she refused to say even when talking about plans away from tennis.

It is still impossible not to get excited about the fact Williams still didn’t mention the word “retiremennt” in her on-court interview and in her post-match press conference.

She dropped a potential bombshell at the end of the on-court interview when asked if there was any chance she would consider extending her career.

She replied: “I don’t think so, but you never know. I don’t know”.

Even when she announced her career was “evolving” away from tennis last month, Williams refused to use the “retirement” word.

“Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution. I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me,” she said.

“A few years ago, I quietly started Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm. Soon after that, I started a family. I want to grow that family.”

She is a fighter unlike anything tennis has seen for a very long time and even with so many exciting plans she will have to be dragged into retirement kicking and screaming.

It was such a cruel end for the emotional Williams after she defended a stream of match points at 5-1 and even had break point opportunities in Tomljanovic’s final service game, but Tomljanovic eventually held her nerve at the finish line to serve out the match.

Williams broke down during her post-match interview and needed a moment to compose herself as she thanked her family.

“Thank you daddy, I know you’re watching,” she said.

“Thanks mum. Oh my god, mum. I’m really grateful for them. I wouldn’t be here without them.”

“(Thanks to) everyone that’s been on my side (for) decades, literally decades.

“It all started with my parents (mother Oracine Price and father Richard Williams) and they deserve everything.

“These are happy tears, I guess.”

She also said: “It’s been a fun ride.”

The New York crowd had been going absolutely bonkers even as she came within three points of her career being over in an epic second-set blockbuster with Tomljanovic.

The 40-year-old’s retirement tour has created crazy scenes at the US Open this week — and it was another insane atmosphere inside Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday morning when Williams fought back to take the second set in a tiebreak.

Tomljanovic had completely rocked the crowd by taking the opening set 7-5 after Williams had served for the set leading 5-4.

The end of the set created an eerie scene inside the crowd of around 24,000 spectators as silence replaced the deafening cheers.

The crowd was ready to explode when Williams had four set points on Tomljanovic’s serve at 5-2, but she was unable to convert any of them.

She had to wait until 6-4 in the tiebreak before she finally converted a set point.

Williams’ fightback from the brink stunned the tennis world.

Veteran tennis reporter Ben Rothenberg wrote on Twitter: “Holy s***, Serena”.

New York Times reporter Adam Zagoria wrote it was “incredible drama”.

The Tennis Podcast posted on Twitter: “Wow, wow, wow”.

Elsewhere, Nick Kyrgios is taking on American J.J. Wolf where he is hoping to move through to the Round of 16 for the first time at the US Open.

Williams on Thursday blew the world away when she came from behind to defeat world No. Anett Kontaveit in a thrilling second-round encounter.

Playing in the final tournament of her career, Williams has been given special treatment throughout the tournament and it has raised eyebrows with some tennis commentators.

Williams has in every match walked onto court with special presentations, while her opponents have had to stand on court as the crowd thanked Williams with huge rounds of applause.

It has put Tomljanovic in the worst possible position in tennis.

Aussie great Jelena Dokic said on Channel 9 it made it “crazy” for Tomljanovic to have to deal with.

The Times’ Stu Fraser earlier described the practice as “very disrespectful”.

After knocking out Kontaveit, Williams had fans daring to dream of a fairytale 24th Grand Slam, but it wasn’t to be.

The veteran and elder sister Venus were eliminated in the first round on Thursday.

— with AFP



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