Serena Williams became emotional during a post-match interview following her loss to Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open semifinals and walked out when she was asked about the last moments of her final match.
Osaka defeated Williams 6-3, 6-4. She will now advance to her second final in three years at Melbourne Park.
“I don’t know. The Aussie crowd is so amazing, so it was nice to see,” Williams said regarding the standing ovation she received from the crowd when walking from Rod Laver Arena.
“If I ever say farewell, I wouldn’t tell anyone,” she replied when a reporter asked her if she was wishing her fans a farewell and retiring from the sport.
Immediately after, Williams was asked what caused her 24 unforced error tally in the match against Osaka.
“I don’t know … I’m done,” she said. Williams then placed her head in her hands before leaving the interview in tears.
While Williams may be feeling down about the loss, she and her sister, Venus Williams, helped to pave the way for Osaka and the new generation of tennis stars.
“Today was not ideal outcome or performance but it happens,” Williams wrote via Instagram following the interview. “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.”