In what is expected to be her final US Open appearance, Serena Williams suffered a third-round loss to Ajla Tomljanovic and social media went abuzz as tributes flowed in numbers for one of tennis’ greatest stars.
A six-time winner at the Flushing Meadows, Serena lost 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 6-1 to her 46th-ranked Australian opponent and wishes poured in from all corners.
US golf star Tiger Woods was one of the first celebrities to offer his tributes to the 23-time Grand Slam champion.
“@serenawilliams you’re literally the greatest on and off the court. Thank you for inspiring all of us to pursue our dreams. I love you little sis!!!!!!,” Tiger tweeted.
American business magnate Bill Gates also offered his praises for the 40-year-old, tweeting, “What a run. @serenawilliams will be leaving behind an extraordinary tennis career that challenged the double standard between male and female players. I look forward to watching her continue building her amazing legacy off the court.”
Tennis World Pays Tribute
Serena also received accolades from the tennis world, with legend of the sport, Billie Jean King, speaking her mind out in praise of the US star.
“Her incredible career made its mark on tennis history. And yet her greatest contributions may be yet to come. Thank you, @serenawilliams. Your journey continues. #serena #USOpen,” Billie Jean King posted on her official Twitter handle.
The 78-year-old was present at the Arthur Ashe Stadium to witness Serena playing in what could have been her final US Open appearance.
Meanwhile, World No 5 Ons Jabeur and rising star of US tennis, Coco Gauff, were some of the others from the tennis community who didn’t hide their appreciation and admiration for one of tennis’ all-time greats.