American tennis player Serena Williams burst into tears and abruptly ended her press conference after her defeat by Naomi Osaka in the semifinals of the Australian Open in 2021 on Thursday.
The defeat put an end to her candidacy for a record equal to the 24th Grand Slam title and her second consecutive semifinal in a major tournament.
Williams, 39, waved to the crowd and put his hand on his heart before leaving Rod Laver Arena after a 6-3, 6-4 loss. Asked if this was an indication that she was saying goodbye to the Australian Open, Williams replied with a smile: “I don’t know … if I ever say goodbye, I won’t tell anyone.”
She was then asked about the mistakes she made during the match. “I don’t know. I’m done,” she said before walking away. Earlier, Williams said the difference between her and Osaka was her 24 unforced errors, six of which came when returning service.
“The difference today was in the mistakes. I made so many mistakes today. These were opportunities where I could be 5-0 and I made so many mistakes. I had a lot of unforced errors in the foreground. It was a big day for me to make mistakes today.” she said.
“I felt good, I hit this whole tournament well. Even the first few games I played well and there were so many opportunities. I don’t know … I just made too many mistakes there. Easy mistakes, it wasn’t like I was on the run or something, everyone they were easy mistakes, “she said.
Williams later thanked the Australian crowd in an Instagram post.
“Melbourne and my Australian fans – Today was not a perfect result or performance, but it happens … I am honored to be able to play in front of all of you. Your support – your health, I just wish I could do better. “Good for you today. I am forever in debt and I am grateful to each of you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I adore you,” she said in her post.
Williams is one Grand Slam title away from equaling Margaret Court’s record of 24 titles in the Open era. She won her 23rd Australian Open title in 2017, then took a break from tennis for the birth of her child. Since returning, she finished second at the US Open and Wimbledon in 2018 and 2019.