Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images
Legends never die, but Serena Williams’ historic career came to an end Friday night with a 5-7, 7-6 (4), 1-6 third-round loss to Ajla Tomljanović in the 2022 U.S. Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows.
It was a tough ending for Williams, who announced in Vogue she would be “evolving away from” tennis after the U.S. Open to focus on other things, including growing her family with husband Alexis Ohanian. The couple have one daughter, Olympia.
Despite the loss, Williams’ GOAT status was celebrated by fans, other athletes and celebrities on Twitter:
Tiger Woods @TigerWoods
.@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!!!!!!
Front Office Sports @FOS
96 career titles.
39 Grand Slams.
319 weeks as World No. 1.
$94M in career prize money.
The highest-earning female athlete ever.
A career over, but a legend forever: Serena Williams. pic.twitter.com/UmzVGTbc8p
Just Women’s Sports @justwsports
“I wouldn’t be Serena if there wasn’t Venus. Thank you, Venus.” – Serena Williams pic.twitter.com/OYuAqpJkT0
MAREN MORRIS @MarenMorris
As someone who found their love of tennis during Covid and post partum depression, Serena, you gave me so much hope. I am bawling. 😭 pic.twitter.com/wKeyhNiS1q
Patrick Mahomes II @PatrickMahomes
Thank you! #Serena 🐐🐐🐐
Arielle (Ari) Chambers @ariivory
I’m sobbing yall. https://t.co/IEgwkdrBTl
Jarvis Juice Landry @God_Son80
HIGH KEY HOPE THIS AINT THE LAST SERENA MATCH I EVER SEE AGAIN !!!! WE LOVE YOU QUEEN #GOAT
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
After 27 years, Serena’s career comes to a close 🙏
🐐 4x Olympic gold 🥇
🐐 23 Grand Slam singles titles
🐐 14 Grand Slam doubles titles
🐐 Only tennis player to achieve the career Golden Slam in both singles and doubles
🐐 Joint longest run as the No. 1-ranked female player pic.twitter.com/7eTARuiP05
whitney medworth @its_whitney
what an incredible final week serena gave us pic.twitter.com/pOYgb8s1d8
Pat McAfee @PatMcAfeeShow
Serena is awesome. What a run.
Hope she goes on to enjoy whatever the hell she’s looking to do next.
THANK YEW SERENA pic.twitter.com/vN547Srpo4
Mia Hamm @MiaHamm
@serenawilliams you are a warrior! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
CBS Sports @CBSSports
“I love Serena just as much as you guys do … I just thought she would beat me … She’s Serena. Even to the last point … that’s just who she is. She’s the greatest of all time. Period.”
– Ajla Tomljanovic pic.twitter.com/5wpJ5vEQGC
I love you @serenawilliams It’s been the pleasure of a lifetime to watch you become what you have. Can’t wait to see what you do next. Thank you my old friend
Alex Morgan @alexmorgan13
Serena fighting until the last point, always. You’ve given so much to tennis, and so much to womens sports. Thank you @serenawilliams
Williams is one of the most prolific tennis stars of all time. She has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, which is the most by any player in the Open Era and the second-most all-time behind Margaret Court.
The 40-year-old has also won the most major matches by a woman in tennis history and has four Olympic gold medals.
The list of Williams’ accomplishments and accolades could go on and on, and it’s going to be tough if we don’t see her on the court again. However, she didn’t rule out a return.
“I don’t think so, but you never know,” Williams said when asked about unretiring.