Legends never die, but Serena Williams' historic career came to an end Friday night with a 5-7, 7-6 (4), 1-6 third-round loss to Ajla Tomljanović in the 2022 U.S. Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows.
It was a tough ending for Williams, who announced in Vogue she would be "evolving away from" tennis after the U.S. Open to focus on other things, including growing her family with husband Alexis Ohanian. The couple have one daughter, Olympia.
Despite the loss, Williams' GOAT status was celebrated by fans, other athletes and celebrities on Twitter:
The greatest to ever do it! <a href="https://twitter.com/KingJames?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KingJames</a> reflects on <a href="https://twitter.com/serenawilliams?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@serenawilliams</a> legacy. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ThankYouSerena?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ThankYouSerena</a><a href="https://t.co/0bRLhEsKQS">pic.twitter.com/0bRLhEsKQS</a>
Front Office Sports @FOS
96 career titles.<br>39 Grand Slams.<br>319 weeks as World No. 1.<br>$94M in career prize money.<br><br>Activism.<br>Business ventures.<br><br>The highest-earning female athlete ever.<br><br>A career over, but a legend forever: Serena Williams. <a href="https://t.co/UmzVGTbc8p">pic.twitter.com/UmzVGTbc8p</a>
JR Smith @TheRealJRSmith
We love you <a href="https://twitter.com/serenawilliams?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@serenawilliams</a> thank you so much for giving us all the honor and the privilege of watching the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GreatestAthleteAllTime?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GreatestAthleteAllTime</a>
Carli Lloyd @CarliLloyd
Greatest of all time <a href="https://twitter.com/serenawilliams?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@serenawilliams</a>! You will be missed. 🐐 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/serena?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#serena</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USOpen2022?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USOpen2022</a>
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
After 27 years, Serena's career comes to a close 🙏<br><br>🐐 4x Olympic gold 🥇<br>🐐 23 Grand Slam singles titles<br>🐐 14 Grand Slam doubles titles<br>🐐 Only tennis player to achieve the career Golden Slam in both singles and doubles<br>🐐 Joint longest run as the No. 1-ranked female player <a href="https://t.co/7eTARuiP05">pic.twitter.com/7eTARuiP05</a>
CBS Sports @CBSSports
"I love Serena just as much as you guys do ... I just thought she would beat me ... She's Serena. Even to the last point ... that's just who she is. She's the greatest of all time. Period." <br><br>- Ajla Tomljanovic <a href="https://t.co/5wpJ5vEQGC">pic.twitter.com/5wpJ5vEQGC</a>
Williams is one of the most prolific tennis stars of all time. She has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, which is the most by any player in the Open Era and the second-most all-time behind Margaret Court.
The 40-year-old has also won the most major matches by a woman in tennis history and has four Olympic gold medals.
The list of Williams' accomplishments and accolades could go on and on, and it's going to be tough if we don't see her on the court again. However, she didn't rule out a return.
"I don't think so, but you never know," Williams said when asked about unretiring.