Serena Williams suffered one other huge loss for Naomi Osaka on the present Australian Open. This might be the top of 1 queen and the rise of one other.
Williams has performed within the Australian Open since 1998 – when Naomi Osaka, her semi-final winner, was a baby – and grew as much as lead the event with seven titles, an Open period document.
However few have didn’t look noticeable after Thursday’s defeat because the 23-time Grand Slam winner paused to acknowledge the ovation, hand at hand, earlier than disappearing into the tunnel.
Shortly afterwards, Williams, 39, walked out of his press convention in tears after a query about whether or not he was “nearly saying goodbye.”
“I do not know. If I ever say goodbye, I will not inform anybody,” Williams stated, earlier than snapping and parting.
A heartfelt Instagram put up gave additional clues concerning the American’s temper, when she informed Australian followers that she was “perpetually indebted and grateful to every of you.
“I like you. I like you. I like you. I like you,” he wrote.
Williams ’victories in Australia embrace a technology in tennis, with victories within the remaining over Lindsay Davenport, Justine Henin, Dinara Safina, Maria Sharapova (twice) and her sister Venus (twice).
His final three appearances have been ended by the fingers of Karolina Pliskova, Wang Qiang and now Osaka of Japan – Williams ’obvious inheritor, with three main titles on the age of 23.
Australian media appear resigned to the truth that Williams won’t be working once more for an eighth Australian crown.
“Did Australia see Serena Williams’ final?” wrote The Age, whereas the Australian had the headline: “Sayonara Serena? The tearful exit is coming to an finish”.
We’re not finished but – Serena:
Many commentators have speculated that Williams will name her give up this yr, after the final Olympics – the place she received a single and three double gold medals – and a remaining crack within the Grand Slam title document.
Williams has been tied for 23 main trophies, one behind Margaret Court docket of Australia, since profitable the 2017 Australian Open whereas she was pregnant.
She has since given delivery, returned to the spherical, and completed runner-up in 4 main tournaments – having misplaced simply six of 28 finals earlier than 2017.
For his coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, there isn’t a comparability between Williams ’achievements and people of Court docket, who received 13 of his titles when tennis was nonetheless an newbie sport.
“There’s tennis earlier than the Open period and tennis after the Open period,” the Frenchman stated.
“Everyone knows they’re two totally different sports activities. It is an newbie sport and knowledgeable sport. It would not actually make sense to match.”
Novak Djokovic, the world’s primary males, noting Williams ’struggles for equality with the Court docket, suggested him to have a look at the general image of his profession, and the impression it has made.
“She is such a tremendous champion who conjures up each female and male athletes from around the globe,” stated the Serbian, 17-time Grand Slam champion.
“I believe if you see an even bigger image for her and all that she is, what she means off and off the sphere … she’s one of many biggest ever … athletes, not simply tennis gamers.”