In her post-match press interview, following her 3-6, 4-6 straight two-set loss to Naomi Osaka in the semi-final of the women’s Australian open competition, Serena Williams broke into tears and walked out. It showed her disappointment at perhaps her last chance to equal Margaret Court’s Grand Slam record for the most ever Grand Slam title wins by a lady singles player.
Up to that point, the interview had progressed more or less as expected, with Williams conducting herself in an emotionally stable, intelligent, and courageous manner. She made no excuses for losing, other than saying that she had made too many unforced errors. She summed it up succinctly by saying it was a big error day for her.
Fellow American Jennifer Brady fought her way through to her first-ever Grand Slam final, where she was beaten 6-3, 6-4, by Osaka in 77 minutes. She acknowledged that the 23-year-old Japanese is a great tennis player. But she said that she didn’t think that she is a God although, Serena Williams may well be.
There is no doubt that Serena Williams is one of the best women’s tennis players of all time. She has won 23 Grand Slam finals. It’s more than any other player in the so-called “open era” and puts her second behind Margaret Court in the all-time winners’ stakes. Court managed to win 24.
William’s first Grand Slam title came in 1990 when she beat Martina Hingis in the women’s US Open, 6-3, 7-4. Serena was 17 years, 11 months, and 4 days old at the time. It made her the fourth-youngest woman to win the US Open, and in doing so, she had beaten the second-youngest player to have won the competition in 1997 at the age of 16 years 10 months and 26 days.
The record for the youngest-ever winner of the women’s US Grand Slam is still held by Tracy Austin, who in 1979 won the crown at the tender age of 16 years, 8 months, and 16 days. Just for the record, the third-youngest winner was Monica Seles, who won it in 1991 at the age of 17 years, 8 months, and 24 days.
Serena made it to the final of the US Grand Slam on ten occasions, winning six times. She also won the Australian Grand Slam seven times, the British Grand Slam at Wimbledon seven times, and the French Grand Slam 3 times. A truly impressive record.
At the end of the semi-final in the Australian Grand Slam, she received a standing ovation, and in response, made a show of putting her hand on her heart. It was a gesture that gives rise to speculation about her potential retirement. When questioned on the subject previously, Serena commented that when she does come to retire, she won’t tell anybody until after the event