Whether you want to call her an ICON, a LEGEND, or a GOAT, no matter what you would like to call her, there’s no question that Serena Williams will go down in history. The 40-year-old played her final match as a professional at the US Open. Her final match was in the third round of the US Open. She lost a thrilling battle against Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic, 7-5, 6-7, (7-4), 6-1.
A three-hour match that had a wild, and long comeback ending with a heated tiebreak in the second set before Tomljanovic finally closed out the match in the third. The match will go down as one of the best, and most-watched of the tournament.
Like many professional athletes walking off for their final time, Serena got emotional as she rides into the sunset.
For the woman that revolutionized the game of Tennis, the credit is due. Tomljanovic felt sorry for beating her.
A loss like this is not the way Williams envisioned the ending of her career to go, but it’s also not what she’ll be remembered for. With so many accolades and matches under her belt, a single moment won’t define a legendary career. Williams has had a tennis racket in her hands since the age of 3 (though she says it was 18 months), and in a way, her fate was sealed from there.
The Williams Sisters
Growing up as the younger sister of fellow tennis legend Venus Williams, she spent time watching Venus play through her success and failure, while she waited in the shadows, learning everything she could from what she saw. Venus came into the spotlight first, but Serena followed close behind. Officially arriving in 1999, winning the US Open, then in 2002-2003 achieved a feat that is now called the Serena Slam: Holding all four Grand Slam titles at the same time over two calendar years. She won the 2002 French Open, the 2002 Wimbledon title, the 2002 US Open, and the 2003 Australian Open. In each of those finals, she had to beat her own sister to win the trophy. Williams would again win the Serena Slam in 2014-2015. Though she never managed to win a calendar Slam (winning all four majors in the same year), she became the first tennis player in history to achieve a Career Golden Slam (winning all four majors, and the Olympic gold medal) in singles and doubles. Williams has been so dominant in singles that her doubles career, playing alongside Venus, is often forgotten. As a doubles team, they remain undefeated in Grand Slam finals, winning 14 and never losing a single one.
The Legacy of Serena Williams Lives On
Serena Williams has been playing for so long that she has recently been competing against players who watched her growing up. They are what is called the Serena Generation, playing in their own way and style, carrying part of Serena’s legacy along the way. A legacy that will continue to grow for a long time. Now, having done (nearly) everything she ever wanted to do in tennis, she moves on. Now concentrating on other things. She’s earned it. There is no one like Serena Williams, and there won’t be anyone like her again. She didn’t just change the sport of tennis; she changed the world.
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