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TENNIS

“I always did love Australia...” Serena Williams hints she has more in the tank

Serena Williams seemed determined to avoid any notion this was her last ever match, laying the breadcrumbs for an Australian Open return.

Update:
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 02: Serena Williams of the United States in action in her match against Ajla Tomlijanovic of Australia during their Women's Singles Third Round match on Day Five of the 2022 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 02, 2022 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.   Julian Finney/Getty Images/AFP
== FOR NEWSPAPERS, INTERNET, TELCOS & TELEVISION USE ONLY ==
JULIAN FINNEYAFP

Serena Williams hinted that she might return to the court at some point in the future after going down in the third round of the US Open against Ajla Tomljanovic on Friday. Williams, who saved five match points before eventually succumbing in the three-plus hour marathon, gave an emotional on-court interview where she thanked her family, but also highlighted that she felt like she was getting better as the tournament wore on. When asked conclusively if this was her final US Open, she was non-committal, saying “you never know”.

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She took the insinuation that she is not finished playing a step further during her sit-down press conference, laying the breadcrumbs for another go around at the Australian Open. “I don’t know [what it would take to play again] – I’m not thinking about that. I always did love Australia, though,” she said with a smile. “But yeah, you know what, I’ve come a long way since last year at Wimbledon. Just not sure if that was my last moment or not. Making it a different moment I think is much better. And it takes a lot of work to get here. Clearly I’m still capable. It takes a lot more than that. I’m ready to, like, be a mom, explore a different version of Serena. Technically in the world I’m still super young, so I want to have a little bit of a life while I’m still walking.”

Quality time with the family

When asked what she thinks her life will be like moving forward, Williams said she is excited to be able to spend more time with her daughter, and that karaoke is on the agenda. “I’m definitely resting tomorrow, and then probably spending some time with my daughter,” she said. “I’m a super hands-on mom. I’ve been with her almost every single day of her life, minus two days or three days. It’s been really hard on her, my career. So it will be, you know, nice just to do that and spend some time with her, do things that I never really have done or had an opportunity to do. I have such a bright future ahead of me, I don’t know. Also, I’m kind of at an advantage because COVID happened. I think everyone shut down for a year, and we kind of got to see what our lives would be like if we weren’t playing tennis. Then I got injured last year, so I took off literally a year. So I got to see, again, like, what every day would be like to wake up and not have to go to the gym. So I don’t know. I think I’m definitely probably going to be karaoke-ing tomorrow.”

Touching on how she would like her career to be remembered, Williams said her unique passion and fire is at the forefront. “I mean, there’s so many things to be remembered by,” she said. “Like the fight. I’m such a fighter. I feel like I really brought something, and bring something, to tennis. The different looks, the fist pumps, the just crazy intensity. I think that obviously the passion, I think, is a really good word. Just continuing through ups and downs. I could go on and on. But I just honestly am so grateful that I had this moment, and that I’m Serena.”

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