Serena Williams, Moving Toward Retirement, Ends Her Magical Run at the U.S. Open

The greatest tennis player of all time was facing the strain of what she said might be her final Grand Slam competition as she stepped onto the court at the U.S. Open this week.

In a painful three-set loss to Australian Ajla Tomljanovic on Friday night,

that dream came to an end. She competed against a rival who was 11 years younger

and to the very end, the over 24,000 spectators jammed Arthur Ashe Stadium yelled and applauded her at every round.

The defeat, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-1, probably signalled the end of a 27-year career that irrevocably altered public opinion.

Williams lost on the same court where she won her maiden major championship in 1999, when she was just 17 years old.

Williams go, not from the tournament she has won six times and not from tennis. Just 24 hours before Friday’s match,