Serena Williams saw her professional tennis career come to an end after she lost in the 2022 US Open third round against Australian Ajla Tomljanovic. The 40-year-old great has finally called time on an epic career that has lasted decades.
In August 2022, Serena released an article on Vogue where she stated that the US Open was likely to be her last as she sought to settle down and begin a family fully. As expected, the 23-time Grand Slam winner looked to make her mark on the US Open, the only major held in her home country.
Not one to go down quietly, Serena Williams showed she was up to the task with a straight sets victory over Danka Kovinic in the first round at Flushing Meadows. She quickly followed that up with a stunning performance against number two seeded Anett Kontaveit, dispatching the Estonian in three sets to qualify for round three of the tournament. Celebrities were there to see the queen herself play, with the likes of Bill Clinton, Mike Tyson, Billie Jean King and Tiger Woods gracing the arenas where she played.
Serena went down to Tomljanovic in three sets despite putting up her best efforts on the night. The Australian player won the match 7-5 6-7 6-1 against Serena, who can be said to not have been at 100% after having featured with sister Venus in the doubles only 24 hours earlier.
Serena handled her exit graciously before delivering a moving tribute to her sister for the influence she had on her career path. The mother of one was in tears as the emotions poured out.
Serena Williams retires as the player, male or female, with the most grand slam titles in the Open Era. She amassed 23 singles titles since making her debut in 1995, putting her just one behind Margaret Court’s all-time total. She also won 14 grand slam doubles titles and two mixed doubles in her career. She won four Olympic gold medals with three of them coming in doubles. Serena ends her career with 858 wins and 154 losses to her name.
Serena first reached the peak of women’s tennis aged just 21 in 2002 when she was ranked #1 in the world for the first time. She would go on to dominate the sport for the next 15 years as she won the last of her 23 grand slam titles in 2017 when she was pregnant with daughter Olympia.
Serena Williams inspired a whole generation of sportspeople and is rightly described by many as the Greatest of All Time. She will be remembered as the woman who redefined tennis in the 21st century.