Serena Williams breaks down after defeat to Naomi Osaka at Australian Open
Serena Williams bid a tearful farewell to the Australian Open amid questions about whether she may have played at the tournament for the last time.
Williams gave the crowd inside the Rod Laver Arena a long wave goodbye with her hand on her heart following her 6-3, 6-4 semi-final defeat by Naomi Osaka.
The gesture prompted speculation about whether the 39-year-old would ever be back competing at Melbourne Park, where she has won the title seven times.
In her post-match press conference, Williams responded: “I don’t know. If I ever say farewell, I wouldn’t tell anyone. So…”
Williams then became tearful during the next question, a relatively mundane enquiry about her unforced errors during the match, and said: “I don’t know. I’m done,” before leaving the room.
Williams had once again came up short in her 10th attempt to move level with Margaret Court’s haul of 24 major titles.
Japanese third seed Osaka, the champion in 2018, overcame a nervous start in front of a limited crowd, let back in after Victoria’s coronavirus lockdown was lifted.
From 2-0 down she won eight out of the next nine games before ultimately wrapping up victory in an hour and 15 minutes.
Osaka said on court: “I was really nervous and scared in the beginning but I eased my way into it.
“It was about having fun and it was the first day having a crowd for a while. It’s an honour to play her and I didn’t want to go out really bad so I just tried my best.
“I was a little kid watching her play so coming up against her on the court for me is a dream.”
Follow us on Twitter @T365Official and like our Facebook page.
WATCH: ‘Greek god’ Marton Fucsovics takes shirt off to reveal ripped body
Marton Fucsovics shows off his muscles again.
Aryna Sabalenka eyes Iga Swiatek’s No 1 spot – Why Sabalenka could usurp the Pole in the coming months
Aryna Sabalenka’s world No 1 goal could be within touching distance.
What Novak Djokovic needs to do to be top seed at French Open
Novak Djokovic has a big chance to be back at No 1 in time for the French Open.
Wimbledon reach verdict on Russian players with announcement imminent
The decision on whether Russian and Belarusian players can compete at Wimbledon this summer has been made.
Tennis legend predicts how many Grand Slams Novak Djokovic will win
Novak Djokovic is “going to be winning majors as long as he’s healthy”.
Aryna Sabalenka, WTA and Steve Simon slammed as tension in tennis continues to escalate
All is not well in women’s tennis.
Carlos Alcaraz off the mark in Miami as Jimmy Connors explains why he is head and shoulders above his peers
Carlos Alcaraz up and running in Miami as Jimmy Connors waxes lyrical about Spaniard.
Ons Jabeur’s ‘season is just starting now’ after injury woes
Ons Jabeur ready to go again.
WTA accused of ignoring request for meeting with Ukrainian players – ‘Just silence’
Ukrainian players want to meet with the WTA board.