Saturday, September 3, 2022 2:17 pm
Williams suffered a third-round loss to Ajla Tomljanovic at the US Open. The 40-year-old is expected to retire from competitive tennis, having won 23 Grand Slam titles during a 27-year professional career, skysports reported.
For her feats over the years, Michelle Obama praised her as “one of the greatest athletes of all time.”
The former first lady led tributes to her friend and her “amazing career,” saying she would go on to “transform lives” with her talents.
Famous faces including Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Hudson and Tiger Woods also hailed Williams as a “legend forever”.
Skysports reported further: “The multi-Grand Slam winner bowed out of the third round of the US Open tournament on Friday night after losing in three sets to Ajla Tomljanovic.
The tournament is expected to be her last, with her previous victories against Danka Kovinic and Anett Kontaveit giving fans hope her swansong could have a fairytale ending.
But, despite a memorable second-set fightback in a raucous atmosphere, there will be no record-equalling 24th grand slam singles title, with Williams succumbing to a 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-1 loss.
“Congrats on an amazing career, @SerenaWilliams!” Obama tweeted. “How lucky were we to be able to watch a young girl from Compton grow up to become one of the greatest athletes of all time.
“I’m proud of you, my friend – and I can’t wait to see the lives you continue to transform with your talents.”
US talk show host Winfrey added: “25 years. Champion. Shero. Legend forever!”
Multi-award-winning actress Hudson, who recently achieved the coveted Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony (EGOT) award status, wrote: “Serena !!! U have inspired us all. Thank u for showing us what greatness looks like!”
US actress and producer Elizabeth Banks, tweeted: “Thank you @serenawilliams for inspiring us for so long. May you feel the love tonight!”
Woods said it had been “a privilege to watch greatness” following the game and tweeted: “.@serenawilliams you’re literally the greatest on and off the court. Thank you for inspiring all of us to pursue our dreams. I love you little sis!'”