Serena Williams exits US Open as one of the greatest ever, but her legacy goes far beyond her titles won
, 2022-09-03 04:26:39,
NEW YORK — Twenty-three years ago, Serena Williams won her first Grand Slam title here. On Friday, she said her goodbyes in the same place, in front of a sold-out crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“Thank you daddy, I know you’re watching. Thanks mom,” Williams said before starting to cry during her post-match on-court interview. “Everyone that’s here, that’s been on my side, for so many years, decades …
“These are happy tears, I guess. I don’t know. And I wouldn’t be Serena if there wasn’t Venus, so thank you Venus. She’s the only reason Serena Williams ever existed … It’s been a fun ride. It’s been the most incredible ride and journey I’ve ever been on.”
It was a fitting and full-circle finale for one of sports’ most legendary champions.
Williams, 40, shared her intention to retire after the US Open in an essay in Vogue last month, and has been given a hero’s farewell in her matches since. She admitted she had mixed feelings about the decision and knew it would be difficult to walk away from the sport that had defined much of her life.
“I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next,” she wrote. “I don’t know how I’m going to be able to look at this magazine when it comes out, knowing that this is it, the end of a story that started in Compton, California, with a little Black girl who just wanted to play tennis. This sport has given me so much.”
Alongside her older sister Venus, the duo began as young girls with a dream, training on the public…
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