Serena Williams leaves pressroom in tears after semifinal defeat to Naomi Osaka
Williams lost 6-3, 6-4 to Osaka in the Australian Open semi-final
Serena Williams left a press conference in tears after her defeat to Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open semi-final.
Williams is still in pursuit of a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, but was beaten 6-3, 6-4 in the Rod Laver Arena.
She was seen waving to the crowd with a hand held over her heart after the loss, prompting speculation that her tennis career could soon be over.
Speaking to reporters after the defeat, the 39-year-old was visibly emotional from the start. Asked if this had been a final goodbye to the Australian crowd, she said:
"I don't know. If I ever say farewell, I wouldn't tell anyone."
Williams continued, but after being asked about why she had made so many unforced errors made against Osaka after playing so well in earlier rounds, she made a swift exit.
"I don't know," she said. "I'm done."
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) February 18, 2021
Williams later thanks her supporters via a post on her Instagram account.
"Today was not ideal outcome or performance but it happens. I am so honoured to be able to play in front of you all," she wrote.
"Your support, your cheers, I only wish I could have done better for you today.
"I am forever in debt and grateful to each and every single one of you."