Lamentations and gnashing of teeth that is the best way to capture the feelings of tennis fans as American tennis idol Serena Williams bowed out of the Australia Open Thursday, no thanks to Naomi Osaka.
Williams broke down in tears before leaving her Australian Open press conference.
The 23-time grand slam champion’s bid to equal Margaret Court’s record was crushed after a ruthless display from Naomi Osaka in their semi-final clash at Melbourne Park.
Turning 40 in September, Williams’s latest quest to match Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 grand slam singles crowns ended in a shattering 6-3 6-4 loss to Osaka.
With her hand on heart, the American paid a touching tribute to the crowd before leaving Rod Laver Arena, raising the prospect that her 21st Open campaign may have been her last
Those fears that fans had seen the last of Williams at the Australian Open only intensified during a post-match press conference that many supporters described as “tough to watch”.
The American choked backed tears as she answered questions, before refusing to let on whether the latest heartbreaking defeat was her last at Melbourne Park.
“I don’t know. If I ever say farewell, I wouldn’t tell anyone,” Williams said.
“So ..: I don’t know. The Aussie crowd is so amazing, so it was nice to see.”
The 39-year-old has since suffered four grand slam final defeats – two at Wimbledon and two at the US Open – and was left devastated by her straight-sets loss to Osaka.
“The difference today was errors. I made so many errors,” Williams said.
“Honestly, it was opportunities where I could have won. I could have been up five-love. I just made so many errors.”
If there is one thing the fans will however not forget in a hurry is Serena’s usual special outfit that comes with every edition.