The winner of twenty-three Grand Slam singles titles, Serena Williams, probably played the last match of her tennis career.
The 40-year-old American star lost in the 3rd round of the US Open to the Australian Ajla Tomljanovic 5:7, 7:6, 1:6, and the tournament in New York, which she conceived as a farewell, ended for her. The forty-sixth player in the world Tomljanovic will face Russia’s Ludmila Samsonova in the round of 16.
Among the men, the reigning champion and world number one Daniil Medvedev advances. The 26-year-old Russian defeated the Chinese Wu I-ping 6:4, 6:2, 6:2 and will challenge the Australian Nick Kyrgios in the next stage. Wu-I-ping became the first Chinese male tennis player since 1946 to reach the third round of a Grand Slam.
Williams hinted at the end of her career in the September issue of Vogue magazine, but did not fully confirm it during the tournament. “Will I ever come back? I don’t think so, but never say never,” she said during a postgame interview on the court, during which she tearfully thanked her parents, sister Venus and the fans.
Later in a news conference about the future, she joked: “I’ve always loved Australia,” she said, referring to the country, which hosts the next Grand Slam tournament in January.
On the concrete courts in Flushing Meadows this year, she knocked out Danka Koviničová from Montenegro and world number two Estonian Anett Kontaveitová. However, she was not enough to defeat Karolína Muchová in the opening round of Tomjanovicová, despite the stormy support at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Williams played the duel well and led 5:3 at the end of the first set. But from that moment on, she lost four games in a row and lost the first set after 51 minutes.
The American recovered from the failure and had four set points at her disposal in the second set at 5:2. However, the 29-year-old Australian woman withstood the pressure of her opponent and the fans, turned them all away and then forced a shortened game. Here, Williams refused to end the match and won 7:4.
In the third set, however, the home tennis player was unable to resist Tomljanovic and the Australian won six games in a row from 0:1. Although Williams saved five match points in the end and earned a standing ovation, the sixth was final after three hours and seven minutes.
“First of all, I’m terribly sorry. I love Serena as much as you do. I watched her as a little girl and never believed I would ever play against her. She is the greatest player in the history of our sport. She shows that you can achieve anything in life dreams,” said Tomljanovic.
On her way off the court, Williams was accompanied by the song Tina Turner – The Best. “Obviously, I’m still capable. But it takes a lot more. I’m ready to be a mom and explore another version of Serena. I have a bright future ahead of me,” Williams added.
World No. 5 Uns Džábirová celebrates her first advance to the round of 16 of the US Open. She defeated the American Shelby Rogers 4:6, 6:4, 6:3 and became one of the sixteen best players of the tournament only in her seventh appearance in the main competition. In the last three years, she regularly finished in the 3rd round.
“It was a pretty crazy match, Shelby played very well and even at 5:1 in the third set she made it difficult for me. I’m glad I fought until the end,” said Džábirová in an interview on the court.
Roland Garros finalist Cori Gauff continues the tournament without losing a set. The 18-year-old American defeated compatriot Madison Keys, who is nine years older, clearly 6:2, 6:3 and will play in the round of 16 for the first time on the courts in Flushing Meadows. Zhang Shuai is fighting for promotion to the top eight against the Chinese.
Ruska Samsonova won her thirteenth match in a row. Sára Bejlek, the conqueror of the opening round, defeated Serbia’s Alexandra Kruničová twice 6:3 and did not lose a set for the eighth time in a row. The twenty-three-year-old tennis player won tournaments in Cleveland and Washington before the US Open.
The last Grand Slam tournament of the season ended for 2012 winner Andy Murray. The 35-year-old Briton was not enough for the thirteenth-seeded Italian Matteo Berrettini, to whom he lost after almost four hours 4:6, 4:6, 7:6, 3:6. The Rome native advanced to the second week of a Grand Slam for the seventh time in a row.
US Open tennis tournament in New York (hard surface, $60 million endowment):
Singles – 3rd round:
Carreňo (12-Sp.) – De Minaur (18-Aust.) 6:1, 6:1, 3:6, 7:6 (7:5), Medvedev (1-Russia) – Wu I-ping ( China) 6:4, 6:2, 6:2, Kyrgios (23-Aust.) – Wolf (USA) 6:4, 6:2, 6:3.
Singles – 3rd round:
Garcia (17-Fr.) – Andreescu (Can.) 6:3, 6:2, Riske-Amritraj (29-USA) – Wang Si-ju (China) 6:4, 3:6, 6:4, Samson (Rus.) – Kruničová (Serb.) 6:3, 6:3, Tomljanovicová (Aust.) – S. Williamsová (USA) 7:5, 6:7 (4:7), 6:1.