After a three-hour match, Serena Williams has officially left the tennis court for the last time. Williams, nicknamed GOAT, lost the match to Australia’s Ajla Tomljanović at the US Open, ending the last tennis match of her career.
In early August, news of William’s resignation sent shockwaves after she quietly announced to Vogue her plan to leave the courts behind. “I hate to admit that I need to get away from tennis,” Williams revealed. “I’ve never liked the word retirement. Perhaps the best word to describe what I intend to do is evolution. I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis and into other things that are important to me.” She continued. In the interview, Williams went on to say that some of those other important things are the growth of her family and her business.
And with Williams’ announcement falling just before the start of the US Open, many fans quickly reconciled that this was the last time Williams took to the courts. But despite losing the third set to Tomljanović, Williams fought to the end and it wasn’t long before tributes poured in after their match for the greatest of all time.
Celebrities and politicians sent heartfelt messages to Serena Williams
After Serena Williams’ last match of her career, the tennis superstar took to Center Court for an emotional farewell. Sending her gratitude to her family, Williams honored her family and older sister, who helped pave the way for the two. “It all started with my parents and they deserve everything,” Williams said, overcome with emotion. “I wouldn’t be Serena if it wasn’t for Venus,” she added.
While Williams thanked her family after her final game, it wasn’t long before celebrities from all walks of life sent their thanks to the tennis star as she opened the door to athletes from all backgrounds and pushed the boundaries of her own sport in the process.
“How lucky we were to see a young girl from Compton grow into one of the greatest athletes of all time,” Michelle Obama tweeted. “I’m proud of you my friend — and I can’t wait to see the lives you continue to transform with your talents.” Adding to the echoes of gratitude, Tiger Woods tweeted Williams, saying, “You are literally the greatest on and off the pitch. Thank you for inspiring us all to pursue our dreams. I love you, little sister!” And amidst the celebrations, it wasn’t long before GOAT honored GOAT the other. “Thank you Serena Williams for transcending sport for black athletes, female athletes and every athlete,” Simone Biles tweeted. “It’s such a pleasure to watch, thanks for being an inspiration.”