Serena Williams finished her 27-year professional tennis career with an iconic US Open performance in defeat to Ajla Tomljanovic on Friday night at Flushing Meadows.
Williams, 40, left everything out on the court for more than three hours, opening the first set with complete control but lost four straight games after leading 5-3.
Tomljanovic held on to win a 16-minute game with her serve and would go on to tie the set at five apiece.
Williams started showing signs of fatigue but the Queen still managed to win the next game.
Tomljanovic forced the tiebreak and Williams hit an ace to go up 5-4 before landing a winner that got her within reach of a third set.
Williams won the opening game of the third set before Tomljanovic took the next six.
Serena Williams fights physical, mental fatigue
In the last point of the third set’s second game, Williams did not even attempt to chase the ball, her legs weary after more than two hours of action.
Tomljanovic endured an energetic crowd that cheered after every one of her opponent’s points.
Williams, meanwhile, had to fight the constant thought that this match would likely be her last professional contest.
Tomljanovic sealed the victory on her serve — sixth match point — and showed respect to Williams after the final point.
Culled from MARCA