Serena Williams' last US Open has come to an end in the third round, going down 7-5 6-7 (4-7) 6-1 against Ajla Tomlanovic on Friday night.
It was a rough start for Williams, getting her serve broken in the first game of the match, but she got it straight back with a break-to-love by utilising her stunning power.
While her power brought her some easy points, it was also her undoing at times, with 16 unforced errors in the first set compared to 10 winners.
After securing another break to go up 5-3, serving for the opening set, Williams could not finish it off, losing the next four games in a row as Tomljanovic found a way to extend points and turn them into grinding rallies.
Not disheartened, Williams came out on fire in the second set, ripping off the first four games, but Tomljanovic again fought back. From 5-2 down, the Australian surged to level things at 5-5 before forcing a tiebreaker.
In the tiebreaker, Williams worked her way to a 5-4 lead, and took two consecutive mini-breaks to send the crowd into raptures and the match to a deciding set.
But where world number two Anett Kontaveit folded in Williams' last match, Tomljanovic did not, responding instantly after having her serve broken in the opening game to take the next five in a row, with a chance to serve things out at 5-1.
The crowd tried to will the living legend back into the contest, saving the first five of Tomljanovic's match points as she refused to go down easily, but she was not able to convert either of her three break point opportunities in a final game that lasted nearly 15 minutes, ultimately going down on the sixth match point.
After a collective groan in the sold-out Arthur Ashe Stadium, the crowd rose to their feet to pay their respect to the greatest women's tennis player of all time in her final outing at the US Open, as she treated the crowd to one more of her famous twirls at the grand slam she has won six times.
One final wave pic.twitter.com/HivoQiMDdT— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 3, 2022
Data Slam: Six-time champion Serena leaves behind records that will stand the test of time
Williams finishes her US Open career with the seven more main draw wins than any other player, male or female. Her 108 wins leads Chris Evert (101), Jimmy Connors (98), Martina Navrilova (89) and Roger Federer (89).
She is also one of five players – along with Navrilova, Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic – to spend at least 300 weeks as the world number one, and her 23 career grand slam titles is the most of any player, leading Steffi Graf (22) and Nadal (22).
Williams – 49/51
Tomljanovic – 32/30
Williams – 11/7
Tomljanovic – 3/9
BREAK POINTS WON
Williams – 5/13
Tomljanovic – 8/13