Following a tough Australian Open defeat to Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams left the press conference in tears after only a couple of minutes. Many tennis fans had worried about Serena's next moves and possible retirement.
Recovering in a couple of days, Serena is back on the practice court in Miami, sharing the training sessions with Grigor Dimitrov and preparing for the Miami Open that starts on March 24. Speaking about Serena, Marion Bartoli said that her retirement would be one of the saddest days in tennis history, praising the American for her efforts, especially after giving birth to a daughter at the end of 2017.
Serena earned the 23rd Major title at the Australian Open four years ago before taking a break and giving birth to a daughter later that year. Serena returned to the court in March 2018 and reached four Major finals at Wimbledon and the US Open within the next two years, giving everything to earn that elusive 24th Major but experiencing four defeats.
Marion Bartoli spoke about Serena and her passion for the sport.
Following an injury at last year's Roland Garros, Williams did her best to recover in time for the Australian Open and chase the eighth Melbourne crown.
Delivering her best tennis in years, Serena defeated five rivals to reach the semis, including notable triumphs over the better-ranked opponents Aryna Sabalenka and Simona Halep! Setting eyes on the trophy, Williams experienced a 6-3, 6-4 defeat to an eventual champion Naomi Osaka, losing an early advantage and finding herself down despite a solid effort in set number two.
With those points, Serena returned into the top-10 half a year before turning 40, still standing strong and preparing another assault to that elusive 24th Major crown in the season's remaining tournaments. "I think if there is more disappointment and if her body is letting her down and if she's carrying another injury as she did at last year's Roland Garros, I think it's going to start to be more and more difficult.
I don't think she's made up her mind yet; I think she'll see how the rest of 2021 is evolving. I can't imagine when Serena will walk out of the game. I think it's going to be one of the saddest days that tennis will have to face.
I hope she can continue; I love to see her play. I think what's she's bringing on the court is far more impressive than just playing tennis. Being a mother myself, going through pregnancy and giving birth, you see how much your body's changing.
It would be impossible for me now to even think about training to get ready for a Major. After giving birth to Olympia, she was trying to get ready and training to win a Major, and that in itself is just an accomplishment only a mother can relate to," Marion Bartoli said.