Ajla advances, as Serena farewells tennis world

AJLA Tomljanovic has won through to the Round of 16 in the US Open, defeating Serena Williams in three sets today. After a tight couple of sets the Australian stormed home in the last to win 7-5 6-7 6-1 in three hours and five minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium. The result meant the 23-time Grand Slam winner in Williams farewelled the tennis world on her home court, after a gallant finale at Flushing Meadows.

Tomljanovic weathered Williams’ serve of 11 aces to serve three of her own, and broke even off her first serve points (63 to 64 per cent), whilst serving at a higher clip of 62 to 58 per cent. In the end, the Australian broke eight times from 13 chances, while Williams only managed the five from 13, with a tough second set tiebreak win tiring the American legend. The Australian held her nerve despite having six match points in that third set.

Tomljanovic said she was calm enough given she knew what was at stake for her opponent.

“I just thought she’d beat me,” Tomljanovic said post-match. “The pressure wasn’t on me—she’s Serena. Even until the last point, I knew that she was in a really good position to win, even when she’s down, 5-1. That’s just who she is. She’s the greatest of all time, period.

“What she’s done for me, for the sport of tennis, is incredible. “I never thought that I’d have a chance to play her in her last match. “I remember watching her as a kid in all those finals. This is a surreal moment for me. “I think she embodies that no dream is too big. “It doesn’t matter where you come from, the circumstances, you can do anything if you believe in yourself.”

“I don’t think I’ve even taken a moment to realise any impact,” Williams said post-match. “I understand it, but I don’t really meditate or think about it. I’ll have plenty of time soon to do all that.

“I never thought I would have that impact, ever. I was just a girl trying to play tennis in a time where I could develop this impact and be a voice. It was just so authentic because I do what I do, and I just do it authentically me.”


[5] Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated [31] Shelby Rogers (USA) 4-6 6-4 6-3
[12] Coco Gauff (USA) defeated [20] Madison Keys (USA) 6-2 6-3
[17] Caroline Garcia (FRA) defeated Bianca Andreescu (CAN) 6-3 6-2
[18] Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) defeated Dalma Galfi (HUN) 6-2 6-0
[29] Alison Riske-Amritraj (USA) defeated Xiyu Wang (CHN) 6-4 3-6 6-4
Shuai Zhang (CHN) defeated Rebecca Marino (CAN) 6-2 6-4
Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) defeated Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) 6-3 6-3
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) defeated Serena Williams (USA) 7-5 6-7 6-1

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