|Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 29 August-11 September|
|Protection: Each day radio commentaries throughout BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport web site and app, with chosen stay textual content commentaries and match stories on the web site and app|
Even Billie Jean King needed to seize the second.
One final photograph from courtside of arguably the very best to ever to do it. Serena Williams has performed her final match as a tennis skilled and from the second the ultimate level was gained by Ajla Tomljanovic the outpouring of affection flooded out.
“Her unbelievable profession made its mark on tennis historical past. And but her best contributions could also be but to return,” stated King, the previous world primary and co-creator of the Girls’s Tennis Affiliation, on Twitter.
“Thanks, Serena. Your journey continues.”
Williams’ third-round defeat by Tomljanovic – a rare three hours befitting of the 40-year-old’s closing bow – brings down the curtains on a 27-year skilled profession that yielded 23 main singles wins.
She has been an inspiration to many since she gained her first Grand Slam singles title on the 1999 US Open, beating then-world primary Martina Hingis to turn out to be the second African-American lady, after Althea Gibson in 1958, to win a serious singles match.
Again then, fellow American Coco Gauff was nonetheless six years from being born however Williams quickly grew to become an idol for the 18-year-old, who’s into the US Open fourth spherical for the primary time.
“It’s due to you I imagine on this dream. The affect you have had on me goes past any phrases that may be put collectively and for that I say thanks, thanks, thanks, GOAT!”
The farewell had already began firstly of the week when A-listers and her family and friends packed the Arthur Ashe Stadium for her first-round match, able to witness her closing bow.
And so they returned for 2 extra singles matches – in addition to one doubles the place she teamed up alongside sister Venus – as Williams confirmed her unbelievable preventing spirit to succeed in the third spherical and even have followers considering the opportunity of an unlikely fairytale run to 1 final title.
These watching her – and the video montages celebrating her earlier than every match – within the stadium this week had included among the greats of the style, sports activities and Hollywood worlds, demonstrating how the American has transcended her sport in so some ways.
The tributes flooded in from far past the tennis sphere, with former United States First Woman Michelle Obama saying: “How fortunate had been we to have the ability to watch a younger woman from Compton develop as much as turn out to be one of many best athletes of all time.
“I am pleased with you, my good friend – and I am unable to wait to see the lives you proceed to remodel together with your abilities.”
Amongst colleagues on the WTA Tour paying tribute had been Ons Jabeur and Caroline Garcia, with the latter describing her as “such a legend”, whereas on the boys’s facet, 22-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal stated Williams was an “superb champion”.
Elsewhere from the world of sport, swimming nice Michael Phelps praised Williams’ tenacity and drive.
“Her tennis accomplishments communicate for themselves, however one of many issues I like about her is she merely would not give up,” the 23-time Olympic champion stated.
“On or off the court docket her will, her energy, her willpower… she merely by no means offers up. She’s an incredible instance to us all.”
Golfer Tiger Woods, who was in Williams’ participant field for her second-round win over Anett Kontaveit, stated:”You are actually the best on and off the court docket. Thanks for uplifting all of us to pursue our goals.”
NBA nice Magic Johnson stated: “Serena has meant a lot to sports activities, the sport of tennis, the world, each little woman, and much more to each little black woman throughout the globe.
“Serena proves which you can dream greater than the place you come from. From South Central Los Angeles, to the best the world has ever seen…what a narrative!”