Serena Williams left her Australian Open news conference in tears after her semi-final defeat by Naomi Osaka.
The American great saw her latest bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title ended by Japan’s three-time major champion Osaka, who won 6-3 6-4.
She gave the crowd inside Rod Laver Arena a long wave goodbye with her hand over her heart, leading to questions over the 39-year-old’s future.
She responded: “I don’t know. If I ever say farewell, I wouldn’t tell anyone.”
Williams became tearful when asked a further question about her unforced errors against Osaka.
“I don’t know. I’m done,” she said, before leaving the room.
Williams thanked her fans in a post on Instagram shortly after the match.
“Today was not ideal outcome or performance but it happens. I am so honoured to be able to play in front of you all,” she wrote.
“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 every single one of you.”
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) February 18, 2021