Main menu


Serena Williams' Dramatic US Open : NPR

featured image

In a dramatic match that may have been the last match of her career, Serena Williams lost at the US Open.

Scott Simon, Host:

And now it’s time for sports.

(music sound bite)

Simon: Serena Williams goes out like a champion with a magically epic career.NPR’s Tom Goldman joins from New York, home of the US Open. Tom, thank you very much for staying with us.

Tom Goldman, Byline: Good morning, Scott.

Simon: How was it to be in that moment in history?

Goldman: Tired. waves of emotions…

Simon: Excuse me. Tom, a tennis player, plays. you are just reporting about it.

Goldman: I know.

Simon: Please. all right.

Goldman: But for those of us in the stands at Arthur Ashe Stadium, the emotional wave of a three-hour game – I was exhausted. It looked like his first two games Williams won. She moved up her 5 games to her 3 in the first set. On a few occasions she took the lead, but then she lost them and was out of gas by the third and decisive set. She lost her 6-1.

But the final game was a great final moment. Her opponent, Ajla Tomljanovic, took him six match points to finish it off. Williams kept fighting – one of her hallmarks of her 27-year career. First, she pays tribute to Tomlyanović. She played beautifully and powerfully. Considering she was playing against her 24,000 fans on her GOAT and Williams side, she was very poised and even cheered for Tomljanovic’s mistake. In an on-court post-match interview, Tomljanovic was asked how he survived it all.

(Soundbite from archived recording)

AJLA ​​TOMLJANOVIC: You just thought she was going to beat me, right? So I…


TOMLJANOVIC: …I had no pressure, so she’s Serena. Even though she was down 5-1, we knew she was in a very good position to win until her final point. That’s just who she is, and she’s the best ever.


SIMON: Very classy. And Serena Williams had the wonderful grace of greeting her fans and the crowd after this epic match.What did she say?

Goldman: Yeah, she said it was a fun ride and an incredible trip. It didn’t take long for her to choke when she started talking about her parents, who were the driving force.

(Soundbite from archived recording)

Serena Williams: Thank you, Dad. I know you’re watching thank you mama oh my god.

(sound of cheers)

Simon: Oh my. See, Serena Williams can take her own sweet time and decide to do whatever she wants with her life, but did she sound like her determined person?

Goldman: Well, she repeated what she said earlier in the week on the court – you never know – maybe more tennis is coming. Laughing, he said, “I’ve always loved Australia and we talked about the Australian Open coming up in January. But then, Scott, there were comments like this.

(Soundbite from archived recording)

Williams: I’m ready to become a mom and explore a different version of Serena. I’m here.

Simon: What do you think we will remember and cherish about this towering figure in sports and American life?

Goldman: First and foremost, of course, brilliant and dominant tennis. The numbers alone prove it – not just 23 Grand Slam singles titles, but 14 Grand Slam doubles titles with Venus for 37, unbeatable. Then, how she and her sister crafted the power and athleticism that are the norm in women’s tennis, and her impact on the game. . She’s part of a generation of players who grew up admiring Serena and emulating her.

Serena’s fashion on and off the court and her passion during the game – fist pumps, shouts to herself, sometimes shouts to others – for her threatening a linewoman and penalizing her at the US Open. There was a notorious incident that pissed off the referee.As you know, Scott, the critics called it barbaric behaviour. The supporters called it Selena, it was Selena, and they let it all hang out. I think this week generally emphasizes positive moments. In particular, her cultural influence is highlighted, including how she made black women and, in her recent years, her working mother a respectable figure.

SIMON: Thank you very much, Tom Goldman. I envy you being there. Sounds like a great night. Thank you.

Goldman: Thank you Scott.

Copyright © 2022 NPR. all rights reserved. For more information, visit his website’s Terms of Use and Permissions page at

NPR transcripts are produced by NPR contractors on a rush deadline. This text may not be in final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative recordings of NPR’s shows are audio recordings.