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Serena Williams may have played last tennis match after defeat to Ajla Tomljanovic

Serena Williams may have played last tennis match after defeat to Ajla Tomljanovic

Serena Williams may have played her last tennis match, after she saw her US Open dreams shattered in the third round to Ajla Tomljanovic.

Despite a memorable second-set fightback in a raucous atmosphere, there will be no record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title.

The gritty Tomljanovic needed six match points to deliver the knockout punch and bring an end to an engrossing three-plus-hour slugfest, winning 7-5 6-7 (7-4) 6-1.

The 40-year-old, who played her first professional tennis match back in 1995, walked calmly to the net before waving to all sides of Arthur Ashe Stadium while ‘Simply The Best’ played over the loudspeakers.

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Addressing the crowd through tears, Williams said: “Thank you so much, you guys were amazing. I tried. Thank you Daddy, I know you’re watching. Thanks Mom.

“I just thank everyone that’s here, that’s been on my side for so many years, literally decades, But it all started with my parents and they deserve everything so I’m really grateful for them. And I wouldn’t be Serena if there wasn’t Venus, so thank you Venus. It’s been a fun ride.”

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Asked whether there could be another chapter, Williams added: “I don’t think so, but you never know.”

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