Serena Williams has without a doubt been one of the greatest athletes to play the sport of tennis. For 27 years, Williams has graced the courts and become one of the most decorated athletes of this generation.
Over the course of her career, Williams has won four Olympic Gold medals, 23 Grand Slam titles (six of which are at the US Open) and received a total of 73 career titles. In her final match, she lost to Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round of the US Open, capping off her iconic playing career. At 40 years old, Williams gave her final twirl on the court as she exited the match after a 5-7, 7-6, 1-6 loss. Throughout the years, Williams has cemented herself as the GOAT, redefining what could be possible on the tennis court. Her playing style will continue to be studied for generations and will always be considered a legend in her own right in the world of sports.
Although it ended in a loss, her career-ending performance was memorable and gripping, fit for an icon. The game lasted three hours and five minutes and was considered the longest US Open match in Williams’ career. While this was not the desired outcome, Williams appears to be ready for her next phase in life. In the post-match press conference, Williams thanks her family and those closest to her for their support, specifically her parents, “Thank you, Daddy, I know you’re watching. It all started with my parents and they deserve everything, so I’m really grateful for them.” She thanks her older sister Venus, “And I wouldn’t be Serena if there wasn’t Venus. So, thank you, Venus…She’s the only reason Serena Williams ever existed.”
The game saw Arthur Ashe Stadium filled with notable celebrity fans including Tiger Woods, Russell Wilson, President Bill Clinton and more. Many took Twitter later to congratulate Williams on her career. Take a look above at her post-match interview and below for social media’s reactions to Serena Williams’ final match.
The greatest to ever do it.
— ESPN (@espn) September 3, 2022
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 3, 2022
.@serenawilliams you’re literally the greatest on and off the court. Thank you for inspiring all of us to pursue our dreams. I love you little sis!!!!!!
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) September 3, 2022
Congrats on an amazing career, @SerenaWilliams!
How lucky were we to be able to watch a young girl from Compton grow up to become one of the greatest athletes of all time.
I’m proud of you, my friend—and I can’t wait to see the lives you continue to transform with your talents. pic.twitter.com/VWONEMAwz3
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) September 3, 2022
I’ve been in my crib screaming LOUD AF for Serena!!!!!!! Im sick right now?
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) September 3, 2022
On stats alone, Serena Williams would be the greatest of all time. But when you consider everything not in a stat line—the lily white world of tennis, the brush with death, winning while pregnant—her legacy transcends sport. We’ve been so, so very lucky. A champion for all times.
— Charlotte Clymer ?️⚧️?? (@cmclymer) September 3, 2022
— Ja Morant (@JaMorant) September 3, 2022
Nothing but massive respect for Serena Williams. Fought until the very end and made her opponent have to work for the win. She is the GOAT. A champion. A legend who made tennis so interesting. For decades.
— roxane gay (@rgay) September 3, 2022
Thank you for shattering so many glass ceilings, #SerenaWilliams. Thank you for showing women we can be wives, mothers, entrepreneurs AND intense career women. And most of all, thank you for showing little girls of all shades and races that tennis does not have a color barrier.? pic.twitter.com/N2FXnY7ymF
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) September 3, 2022
— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) September 3, 2022
— Chris Paul (@CP3) September 3, 2022
she still the ? ?!
— James Harden (@JHarden13) September 3, 2022
Thank you @serenawilliams ??
— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) September 3, 2022
To the goat of the tennis courts, @serenawilliams you own that world. Wishing you just as much success in your retirement.
— Bo Jackson (@BoJackson) September 3, 2022
It’s been a joy watching greatness! Congrats Serena!
— Derek Jeter (@derekjeter) September 3, 2022
Salute the GOAT @serenawilliams. What a riveting final bow. Such a gift to watch her incredible career.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) September 3, 2022
Serena fighting until the last point, always. You’ve given so much to tennis, and so much to womens sports. Thank you @serenawilliams
— Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) September 3, 2022
We just witnessed the last US Open for the greatest of all time, Serena Williams!! Serena has meant so much to sports, the game of tennis, the world, every little girl, and even more to every little Black girl across the globe. @serenawilliams #ThankYouSerena
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) September 3, 2022
THANKS @serenawilliams YOU’RE GOING OUT SCRAPPING, JUST LIKE YOU CAME IN??????‼️‼️‼️?
— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) September 3, 2022
Her incredible career made its mark on tennis history.
And yet her greatest contributions may be yet to come.
Thank you, @serenawilliams.
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) September 3, 2022
In other sports news, Holyfield’s gloves from his infamous ear-biting fight with Mike Tyson are now up for auction.