By Richard Kent, Staff Reporter
FLUSHING, NY — It marked the end of an era. But oh, what an era it was.
Serena Williams played and lost her last competitive match last night at the US Open to 29-year-old Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia 7-5, 6-7, 6-1.
One lasting memory might be how the 23-time Grand Slam winner staved off 5 match points in a dramatic last game played in her last US Open.
The match lasted 3 hours and 5 minutes, marking the longest Williams match in her storied US Open career, which began in 1999 with a win as a 17-year-old.
Williams outdid her opponent with 49 winners to 32 but had 51 unforced errors, which ultimately did her in.
An adoring crowd of 23,859 watched the match as the US Open continues to break attendance records on a daily basis.
Williams made many comments after the match, but perhaps most poignantly said directly to her player box where her sister sat that, “I wouldn’t be Serena if there wasn’t Venus.”
In total, Williams won 23 Grand Slam titles, including 6 US Opens and a total of 73 WTA singles titles.