Serena Williams hits a forehand against Ajla Tomljanovic during their...

Serena Williams hits a forehand against Ajla Tomljanovic during their U.S. Open third-round match at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Friday. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Serena Williams’ loss in the third round of the U.S. Open was perhaps her final match as a professional. Williams said before the tournament she was preparing for the end of her tennis career. She will turn 41 next month and said she wants to expand her family and pursue her other interests.

Williams won 23 Grand Slam singles titles and is considered by many to beat the greatest women’s tennis ever.

Reaction to Williams’ loss Friday night to Ajla Tomljanovic:

 “@serenawilliams you’re literally the greatest on and off the court. Thank you for inspiring all of us to pursue our dreams. I love you little sis!!!!!!” — Tiger Woods, via Twitter.

“Congrats on an amazing career, @SerenaWilliams. How lucky were we to be able to watch a young girl from Compton grow up to become one of the greatest athletes of all time. I’m proud of you, my friend — and I can’t wait to see the lives you continue to transform with your talents.“ — Michelle Obama, via Twitter.

“All heart. So much love.” — Alexis Ohanian, Williams’ husband, via Twitter.

“I think she embodies that no dream is too big and it doesn’t matter where you come from, or the circumstances. You can do anything if you believe in yourself and you love what you do and have an incredible support system and family around you.” — Ajla Tomljanovic, in her interview on the court after her victory.

“We just witnessed the last US Open for the greatest of all time, Serena Williams!! Serena has meant so much to sports, the game of tennis, the world, every little girl, and even more to every little Black girl across the globe.” — Basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, via Twitter. “

"Serena, THANK YOU. It is because of you I believe in this dream. The impact you’ve had on me goes beyond any words that can be put together and for that I say thank you, thank you, thank you, GOAT!” — Coco Gauff, via Twitter. “It’s truly been fun to watch

"Serena not only changed the sport of tennis, but more importantly, how she’s helped empower the next generation. Her tennis accomplishments speak for themselves, but one of the things I admire about her is she simply doesn’t quit. On or off the court.” — Olympic swimming gold medalist Michael Phelps, via Twitter.

“I love you @serenawilliams. It’s been the pleasure of a lifetime to watch you become what you have. Can’t wait to see what you do next. Thank you my old friend.” — Tennis Hall of Famer Andy Roddick, via Twitter.

“She is an all-time great. Obviously, that’s an understatement.” — Martina Navratilova, Tennis Hall of Famer and 18-time major winner.

“It was very special, she didn't want to leave the court, for sure. That was the same case with me today, actually. I didn't want to go out of this tournament, so I was just there hanging (in) somehow. But I think what Serena showed last night, especially facing a match point was something very nice…I think it was nice to see her yesterday fighting until the end.” — No. 21 Petra Kvitova after her third-round win over No. 9 Garbine Muguruza, 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (12).

“It's crazy. I ordered in and watched it in my hotel room. It's sad, because you see (that), like she said, she's playing well, and she was getting better with every match. You feel kind of sad that's how it ends. I got a little sentimental, too, watching her, how emotional she was getting…I just can't believe the era of Serena on the tennis court is over. I mean, it's just hard to picture tennis without her – because (of) all the achievements she's had, but (also how) she's paved the way for a lot of women, women of color, coming from Compton, there are just so many things she checks off the boxes.” – No. 8 Jessica Pegula after defeating Yue Yuan, 6-2, 6-7(8), 6-0.

 “Everyone looks at her and tries to be like Serena. And I’m sure that’s going to be for years to come.” — Caroline Garcia, French tennis player, seeded 17th and into the fourth round at the U.S. Open. 

“I feel like I really brought something, and bring something, to tennis. The different looks, the fist pumps, the just crazy intensity. I think that obviously the passion I think is a really good word. Yeah, yeah, just continuing through ups and downs. I could go on and on. But I just honestly am so grateful that I had this moment and that I’m Serena.” — Williams, in her post-match news conference.

 "It takes a lot of work to get here. Clearly I’m still capable. It takes a lot more than that. I’m ready to, like, be a mom, explore a different version of Serena. Technically, in the world I’m still super young, so I want to have a little bit of a life while I’m still walking." — Williams after Friday's match

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