US Open: Serena Williams Loses to Tomljanovic, Ends Her Unparalleled Career - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

WTA

US Open: Serena Williams Loses to Tomljanovic, Ends Her Unparalleled Career

Ajla Tomljanovic defeated Serena Williams in three sets in front of a 23,000-strong crowd on Arthur Ashe Stadium. This was the last tournament in Serena Williams’ pro career

Published

on

Serena Williams and Ajla Tomljanovic - US Open 2022 (photo Twitter @usopen)

And the day finally came. Serena Williams played her final match in professional tennis during a magic and unforgettable night on Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York losing in a 3-hour, 5-minute classic to Australiana Ajla Tomljanovic with the score of 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-1.

An emotional Williams took the microphone after netting her last forehand and thanked all her team, but especially her parents: “Thank you dad, thank you mom, my parents deserve everything”. And as she was getting emotional, she also addressed the crowd that had relentlessly supported her throughout her last quest for another win saying: “I want to thank every single person who has ever said once ‘Go Serena’ in their life”.

Even without the incredible emotional overload of the historic occasion, the match was a classic, one of the best that women’s tennis has been able to offer since tennis returned from the 2020 hiatus caused by the pandemic. In what was most likely the best performance of her career, Tomljanovic pulled off an unlikely comeback in the first set when, after dropping her serve at 3-4 cracking under the pressure Williams was putting on her second serve, she was able to win four straight games with an 11-2 streak that gave her the first set.

But probably more importantly in the whole economy of the match, it was her comeback in the second set, when after dropping her intensity and being overwhelmed by Serena mounting to a commanding 4-0 lead, she was able to recover the two-break deficit and equalize at 5-5. Tomljanovic held her serve at 2-5 fending off four set points and equalized the score with another 10-2 streak.

However, the tie-break was another masterpiece by Serena Williams, as it turned out the penultimate one of her career, and with a display of full-court aggression, she jumped to a 4-1 lead and closed the set dominating the tie-break by 7-4. But the set that was supposed to be one-way traffic in her favor ended up being a draining 93-minute affair that sucked almost all the energies out of Serena’s body.

When Williams broke Tomljanovic in the opening game, the nth miracle seemed to be on the cards for the American champion, but her legs were all but gone, and Tomljanovic was as cool as she could be in the face of a correct but hostile crowd. With five straight games, she went to serve for the match and a place in the Round of 16 at the 2022 US Open, but Serena Williams stole the stage one more time, one last time, to put a magnificent seal on her tennis legacy. With her legs and movements gone, she let her arm do the talking and some incredible shots erased one after the other the first five match points for Tomljanovic. The Australian player was able to maintain the effectiveness of her serve and make three break points disappear before the sixth match point ended the match and the career of arguably the best player of all time.

I am feeling sorry, I love Serena as much as you guys – said a very graceful Tomljanovic to a crowd that had supported her opponent for over three hours in any way possible – what she has done for the sport is incredible and I would have never thought I would get to play her in her last match after all the times I have watched her play as a kid. It’s a surreal moment for me”.

In a speaking performance that, if possible, rivals the one she gave with her racquet, Ajla went on describing the match with words that resounded with everyone on the stand: “I thought she would beat me, so pressure wasn’t on me. Even to the last point, I knew that she is in a good position to win even down 5-1.  I lost that 2nd set without doing much wrong, I couldn’t dwell on it or she would run off”.

She embodies that no dream is too big, and no matter where you come from you can do anything if you believe in yourself, love what you do, and have a good support system around you. I travel with my family too and I looked up to her also from this point of view. The tour will not be the same without her, I will miss her”.

Latest news

Emma Raducanu Confident Of Full Fitness Ahead Of Grass Swing

Published

on

Emma Raducanu - Cincinnati 2022 (foto Twitter @cincytennis)

Emma Raducanu has no regrets about her decision to skip the French Open and now believes she is in a ‘really fit place’ ahead of Wimbledon. 

The former US Open champion opted to end her clay season earlier than other players to focus on fitness and training with her coach. Raducanu stated earlier this year that her primary focus in 2024 is on her health after undergoing a series of wrist and ankle surgeries last year which sidelined her for months. 

Raducanu will return to action this week at the Nottingham Open, which is the event where she made her WTA main draw debut back in 2021. Despite her lack of match play in recent weeks, the Brit is feeling good and relishing her return to the grass.

“Body-wise, physical-wise, I feel really healthy,” she said on Monday.
“I’ve done amazing work with my trainer over the last few months, since surgery. I’m in a really fit place. I’m healthy and just looking forward to starting playing.”

Shedding more light on her health, Raducanu says she has full confidence in her wrists and believes they are in top condition. Making her feel more at ease when playing matches on the Tour. 

“I think my wrists are actually in a better position than they ever were. So there’s zero doubt or apprehension whether I’m hitting the ball or designing my schedule,” she explained.
“It’s more about being proactive and not wanting to put yourself in any unnecessary situations. I don’t need to rush and try to win the French Open, it wasn’t my goal this year.
“I had to prioritise where I wanted to target and it was just a good block for me to get some physical work done.”

Raducanu has played seven WTA events so far this season with her best run being to the quarter-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, where she was beaten by world No.1 Iga Swiatek. The 21-year-old is currently ranked 209th in the world. 

At the Nottingham Open, she will play her first match on Tuesday against Japanese qualifier Ena Shibahara. 

Continue Reading

Latest news

Russian World No.78 Elina Avanesyan To Switch Nationalities

Published

on

Image via https://x.com/WTAMeridaOpen/

A week after losing her fourth round match at the French Open, a government minister has confirmed that Elina Avanesyan is in the process of changing the nationality of who she plays for. 

The 21-year-old is switching her aligence from Russia to Armenia, according to Armenia’s deputy Minister of International Affairs and communication. Karen Giloyan has told the news agency Armenpress that Avanesyan will soon be representing his country. However, the tennis player has yet to comment on the matter.  Avanesyan was born in Russia but has Armenian parents.

“Elina Avanesyan will compete under the Armenian flag, but there is nothing official yet. We are waiting for her to get the citizenship of the Republic of Armenia so that everything will be official,” Giloyan told Armenpress.

Such a development would be a massive coup for the Armenian tennis federation which currently doesn’t have a player ranked inside the top 500 on either the men’s or women’s Tour. The country has a population of less than 3M. Perhaps their best-known player is Sargis Sargsian who reached the top 40 back in 2004. Others on the Tour also have Armenian heritage but don’t represent the country such as Karen Khachanov.  

Avanesyan is currently ranked 78th in the world, which is 18 places below her career high. This season, she has scored high-profile wins over Maria Sakkari at the Australian Open, Ons Jabeur in Charleston and Qinwen Zhang at the French Open. 

She has yet to play in the final of a WTA tournament.

Continue Reading

WTA

Iga Looks To Be In A league All to Herself At Paris

Iga Swiatek claimed her fourth Roland Garros title in Paris.

Published

on

(@Eurosport - Twitter)

Just call her Iga. No other identification is needed.

As the years go by, Iga’s notoriety is sure to grow.

She’s probably already earned a spot in tennis’ Hall of Fame.

Yes, Iga Swiatek is a name to remember. A hero in her native Poland, a superstar in the world of sports.

IGA WAS JUST TOO GOOD

Iga just added to her stardom Saturday with an impressive 6-2, 6-1 victory over little-known Italian Jasmine Paolini to win her third straight French Open title. This was Paolini’s chance to make a name for herself, but she didn’t have the game to make it happen.

Iga was just too good. She made it look too easy.

Paolini could hit some great ground strokes, but when she looked up a bigger shot was on its way back. Iga doesn’t look like a power hitter, but she is.

WINNING 10 CONSECUTIVE GAMES

The 23-year-old Polish Wonder finished the first set winning five straight games, then started the second set winning five more games in succession. The 28-year-old Paolini didn’t seem to have a clue on how to upend Swiatek.

It took just 78 minutes for Iga to win her fifth Grand Slam title.

She’s a lot like her French Open hero, Rafa Nadal.

She takes every match seriously.

SWIATEK OWNS THE RED CLAY

No wonder Iga owns a 35-2 record at Roland Garos. Or that she has won 21 straight matches. Or that she owns a 5-0 record in Grand Slam finals.

She only dominated opponents, except for Naomi Osaka in the second round. Swiatek escaped a match point in that one and didn’t look back.

Iga’s game should be just as superb on the green grass of upcoming Wimbledon.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com.

Continue Reading

Trending