The quest for a 24th Grand Slam title goes on for Serena Williams and none other than Naomi Osaka caused the latest setback at the 2021 Australian Open.
Osaka also ‘denied’ her in the 2019 US Open final.
Speaking after the 6-3 6-4 loss at the post-match press conference, Serena was still visibly upset-with her eyes teary and red. Asked if she was nervous during the match, Serena answers, “I wouldn’t say I was nervous at all.”
Serena committed 24 unforced errors and did not produce a forehand win throughout the first set, even though she took an initial 2-0 lead. “The difference today was errors. I made so many errors. Honestly, there were opportunities where I could have been up 5-0 and I just made so many errors.
“It was a big error day for me today. During the warmup, I was hitting the ball well throughout the tournament. I have been hitting the ball well. I had so many opportunities [today] but I made too many mistakes. Easy mistakes. It was not like I was on the run.”
After the loss, Serena walked off the Rod Laver Arena to a standing ovation and she waved before bowing while clutching her hands up to her chest.
It looked like a farewell, but she said, “If I ever say farewell, I wouldn’t tell anyone. I don’t know. I’m done.” The last question she took was what caused the unforced errors-to which she stood up crying and saying, “I am done.”
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 18, 2021
Later On Twitter, Serena wrote: “Melbourne and my Australian fans – Today was not the ideal outcome or performance but it happens.
“I am so honored to be able to play in front of you all. 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 everyone single one of you. I love you. I love you.
“I love you. I adore you.”
The 39-year-old is already a legend of women’s tennis and many want her to break Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles, but that quest just got harder with this ouster to Osaka once again.
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