Arguably the story on Day 11 of the Australian Open was Serena Williams’ tearful exit from a post-match press conference that sparked retirement rumors.
It seems unfathomable that we can see the tennis calendar without an S. Williams on the draw after a glittering career that spanned over two decades, but her humiliating semi-final at the hands of Naomi Osaka has led many to believe that retirement could be closer. what people think.
While the initial reaction to Williams’ slow exit from Rod Laver Arena and tears from his press conference were fears of retirement, tennis icon Mats Wilander believes otherwise.
“I think we see those tears because I think she was disappointed with the way she played,” Wilander told Eurosport.
“I think she had very high hopes, she had a very good start. If she got there 3-0 it could have been 4-0, then 5-0.
“She was unlucky and I think she took a step in the right direction.
“For her, it’s a bigger loss because she moves better, she plays better and she is still not very close to Osaka.
“I feel like this is where the emotions start – she’s probably thinking, what should I do now?”
World No.1 men Novak Djokovic also suggested that Williams’ reaction was more about a missed opportunity than a final opportunity.
“When you pursue great things that are connected with the history of the sport, obviously he has a lot of weight, a lot of pressure,” Djokovic said after his semifinal victory.
“And no matter how many years you’ve been on the tour and how much experience you have, you always feel it on your shoulders. I can understand Serena and what she is going through.
“She’s such an amazing champion who inspires male and female athletes around the world in what she does, I mean, still does at her age, it’s amazing.
“Regardless of how successful she’s had, you know, I know when you lose a big game you’re frustrated. You’re pissed off and you’re emotional. Of course, that’s totally understandable.
“When you see a bigger picture for her and all that she is, what she stands for on and off the pitch, that’s – I mean, she’s one of the greatest ever. I mean, there’s no question, athletes, not just tennis players.
“I am proud and honored to play at the same time as she plays and to see her greatness, experiencing her greatness is a thrill.”
Wilander and Djokovic were also supported by tennis journalists, who also believed retirement fears could be an overreaction.
“Maybe the suspicion of retirement is an overreaction on our part – we know it happens, but we don’t necessarily want to accept this reality,” Athletic‘s Christopher Kamrani wrote.
“It’s just that Williams was playing so well in Melbourne, that she looked closer to her prime than she had in years, that it was perhaps harder to face a final than she initially expected. “
“There are already discussions about her future, the precise meaning of her wave when she left court, but she also has a right to be frustrated with the way things continue to play out,” The gardians Tumaini Carayol added.
“Since coming back from pregnancy, she has consistently put herself in a position to win. When her performances in the four Grand Slam finals weren’t good enough, she left and worked harder.”