Serena Williams took a loss in straight sets last night to Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open semifinal round, but her press conference is what has people speculating about her future.
Tennis fans aren’t used to watching Serena Williams lose the way she did last night, in straight sets to Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open semifinal round. After what was an intense outing for Williams, she paused for a moment while leaving the court to wave to the crowd and with a hand over her heart, soaked in a standing ovation before finally making her exit.
It was sobering and surreal, with fans and media alike immediately speculating about her future.
The moment had all the trappings of a farewell.
Serena Williams overcome with emotion during press conference after Australian Open loss to Naomi Osaka
After the match, Williams was asked about the moment with the crowd and about her future in the sport. She joked with her trademark Serena swagger about not announcing her retirement so obviously, which seemed to put any questions about her future to rest.
But she became so overwhelmed with emotion in an attempt to answer the next question that she abruptly left.
After answering questions about her future, Serena Williams gets emotional and leaves the room. pic.twitter.com/5zTrOvuor0
— espnW (@espnW) February 18, 2021
The moment was certainly tough to watch as a fan of the sport of Tennis. While Serena hasn’t given any concrete indication that retirement is on the horizon, one has to naturally wonder how long she can maintain her dominance.
Couple that with the dawning of a new age, with Naomi Osaka primed to take the torch and sprint into an exciting new era.
Serena took some time to address her fans via Instagram after she was able to collect herself post-press conference.
Naomi Osaka will move on to the Australian Open final round where she will face American Jennifer Brady. Meanwhile, Serena rides off from this specific Major leaving us all wondering if the sunset is what she’s riding off towards.