Serena Williams Loses in Three Thrilling Sets to Ajla Tomljanovic

As Serena Williams takes to the court at this week’s US Open, the question is how the greatest player in modern tennis will handle the pressures of what she says could be the last Grand Slam. hers.

She looked tired and sluggish all summer, but over the course of four days and two main matches, it looked like the 40-year-old could create a magical, run-of-the-mill storybook for a movie title. 24th largest.

That dream came to an end on Friday night in a heartbreaking three-set loss to Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic. In the end, the nearly 24,000 fans who filled Arthur Ashe Stadium cheered and cheered her on every point as she battled against an opponent 11 years younger.

“It’s been the most incredible ride and journey I’ve ever been on in my life,” Williams, wiping away tears, said on the pitch after the game.

The 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-1 loss, potentially marking the end of a 27-year career, has permanently changed the world’s perception and understanding of women – especially especially black women – in sports. Featured footage will show Williams kicking and screaming, saving five match points, blasting to the end, making every hit count as the game crosses the three-hour mark.

“I’m not giving up,” Williams said. “Definitely not giving up tonight.”

Williams has been the hottest ticket in New York this week, and that continued Friday in a game that saw some of the biggest names in sports and pop culture. And in the long run, Williams has delivered what they need – the power and ferocity, precision and passion for the game that have characterized her career for a quarter of a century.

On another night, in a different season last year, maybe more than enough. But on this night, weeks before her 41st birthday, Williams was unable to maintain the rare form that has made her so many victories. She served both sets and had four set points in the second half only for Tomljanovic, who had never played on this field in the biggest stadium in the sport, to climb out of a 5-3 hole in the first set. first and second. She matches Williams’ strength and surpasses her in both steel and precision, while also facing a crowd that is entirely in Williams’ favor.

“I just thought she was going to beat me,” Tomljanovic said. “She’s the greatest of all time.”

Williams’ loss came on the field where she won her first major title in 1999 at the age of 17. Fans this week went to Ashe to say goodbye, but with each match it was clear that no one was. want to see Williams go, no. from the tournament she won six times and not from tennis. Just 24 hours before Friday’s game, Williams lost in a doubles match against his sister Venus Williams. And as the match entered the third set on Friday, Serena Williams struggled to catch her breath and keep up with the pace of the match.

However, her play this week might make people wonder if she’s really ready to quit. Through three matches and eight tennis sets in five days that few will ever forget, Williams proved she can still be great on the tennis court. However, she said she wanted to have a second child and was unable to do so while traveling the world and competing.

She could always choose to go back to tennis. But in an essay published in Vogue last month, Williams wrote that she “Evolving from Tennis” – effectively announced that she intends to retire. And in talking to reporters after the Open games, she hasn’t changed her plans.

Williams has competed sporadically since suffering a hamstring injury at Wimbledon in 2021. She lost in the first round at Wimbledon in June and after announcing in August that she would play several tournaments. For his final run, a chance run at the US Open seems unlikely. During three games in Toronto and Cincinnati suffered from tendonitis in her knee that prevented her from moving well. Williams, though, continues to work, focusing on improving her lateral movement, and trying to regain feeling with the ball and timing that allows her to play with unprecedented intensity. during a career spanning four decades.

Williams had a golden opportunity to make the first set after breaking Tomljanovic to take a 5-3 lead. But she couldn’t close it and showing up for a short period of time annoyed her. She committed a series of fouls, hit the ball long and into the net as Tomljanovic took her chance and ended the game with a forehand diagonal winner Williams barely moved for.

It was a stunning end to a set that in the first eight games saw Williams, the 23-time Grand Slam champion, consistently beat the hugely successful Australian on a plethora of points, moving her through basic lines and attract the energy of the crowd. to gain early advantage.

For the first half hour, the match seemed to follow the pattern of her first two, with Williams mostly getting better with each set. But two errors on one of her signature shots – her forehand volley – and a serve that became unreliable and wobbly led her to foul. After 49 minutes, she was in a hole.

Few players react to the deficit the way Williams does. When she’s healthy and in shape, Williams considers losing a set almost an insult, an attack on an invincible aura that she would have almost nothing to sustain.

And that’s exactly what she did on Friday night. Her grunts were louder, her serves harder and more precise. She dashed across the sidewalk to perform a volley, and stabbed and smashed others. She took a 4-0 lead, then stumbled briefly but regained form in time to take the lead. She kept four set points 5-2, and served the set again 5-3, but couldn’t make the necessary shots when she needed them most. Somehow, though, Williams came to life in the tiebreaker, pushing into the court and placing her shots near the line and ending it with a tough backhand return from Tomljanovic that sent the player away. Australia cannot go back.

The New York crowd, not always in her corner, especially during some of her ugly runs with officials at this tournament, has now strangled her with every ounce. sounds it can muster, making the match difficult for Tomljanovic. maybe.

Williams would say later: “So much support, so much love. “The whole crowd really wanted to push me through the line. I am very grateful and grateful for that. “

By the third episode, they were gone. Once again Williams took the lead, breaking Tomljanovic’s serve in the first game but then lost her advantage as her 40-year-old gas tank headed towards the empty.

Tomljanovic has played six games in a row. In the final match, Williams tore a furious forehand winner and let out a choking scream, sending the whole stadium into a frenzy once again. And again, Tomljanovic allowed the noise to overwhelm him and set himself on the task at hand. It would have taken her six match points to get that final foul from Williams, and then with a final hit into the net, it was done.

Speaking to the audience in tears, Williams said her tennis career was the stage of her life.

“It all started with my parents, and they deserved everything. I am really grateful to them,” she said. “These are tears of happiness.”

She nodded to her sister: “I wouldn’t be Serena without Venus,” she said.

She said she plans to focus on growing her family and working with her venture capital firm. But as she played three rounds of tennis that brought back so many old Serena Williams moments, she even struggled before Friday night to say with certainty that tennis was gone. Then she almost did.

“Obviously I still have the ability,” she said. “It takes more than that. I’m ready to be a mother, discover another version of Serena. “

Source link


News7F: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button