Serena Williams took a loss this week against Naomi Osaka thats got everyone thinking the tennis legend is ready to retire.
The two faced off at the Australian Open semifinals in Melbourne where she playing for her 24th Grand Slam title, one that if won would have tied her with the all-time record in tennis. This is the second time she was halted by current world No. 3, Osaka.
The 39-year-old legend had a thrilling run to the semifinals that saw her play some of her best matches since returning to tennis in 2017. Williams had took some time off after welcoming her daughter Alexis Ohanian Jr. with husband Alexis Ohanian Sr.
After he latest defeat Williams took a moment to wave at the crowd and take in their energy, briefly touching her hand to her heart before walking off. The move was considered uncharacteristic for her, with many feeling that she might be heading to retirement sooner than later.
Concerning fans further, Williams was very emotional and eventually walked off during a press conference following the match. When asked about how she felt and how she played, she said “I felt well, I was hitting well this whole tournament. Even then, I had so many opportunities, i made too many mistakes there, easy mistakes.”
When asked about retirement and her gesture towards the crowd, she said “The Aussie crowd is so amazing, so it was nice to see.” She later added, “I don’t know. If I ever say farewell, I wouldn’t tell anyone.”
After being continually asked about retirement, Williams decided to walk off crying.
Serena crying 💔after the media keeps asking her about retirement pic.twitter.com/htjHEL5yoG— BlackCultureEntertainment🗣 (@4TheCulture____) February 18, 2021
While these questions are nothing new for Serena and her sister Venus, they’ve definitely escalated over the years especially after Serena became a mom.
Despite mounting pressure to retire, Williams has produced some of the best games of her career in recent years. She’s reached four Grand Slam Finales and a handful of semi and quarter finals on top.