Serena Williams thanks her sister Venus Williams after finishing her final match

On Friday night, tennis champion Serena Williams played what could be the last match of her magnificent career. Williams lost the last match she played at Arthur Ashe Stadium to Australian Ajla Tomljanović. The 23-Grand Slam champion was the interview after the loss, but her focus was on the gratitude she felt for her family, especially her sister, Venus Williams, and her father, Richard Williams, who coached both of his daughters as tennis players.

“Thanks, Dad. I know you’re watching,” she said, getting emotional. “Thanks, Mom. Oh, my God…I thank everyone here who has been by my side for so many years, decades. Oh my god, literally decades. But it all started with my parents. And they deserve everything. So I’m really grateful to them.”

When Williams cried, she said they were “happy tears.”

She continued, addressing her sister in the audience: “I wouldn’t be Serena if there wasn’t Venus, so thank you, Venus. She’s the only reason Serena Williams ever existed.”

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The champion went on to thank her husband Alexis Ohanian and her daughter Olympia, and of course all her fans who crowded the stadium. Williams announced her planned retirement from tennis last month and her broadcast at the US Open was expected to be well attended.

“It’s been a fun ride,” she added. “It’s been the most incredible journey I’ve ever been on, I mean, in my life. I’m just so grateful to every single person who’s ever said, ‘Go, Serena,’ in their life. I am just so grateful…You got me here.”

People have questioned whether Williams really wants to leave competitive sports for good, and she has left the door slightly open.

“For me, tennis has been such a big part of my life, I can’t imagine not being involved in tennis,” she said. “I don’t know what that involvement is yet. But I feel like it’s given me so many opportunities. In doing so, it’s given other people so many amazing opportunities. I think it means so much to me in my life, and I’ve had so many amazing moments that I don’t see a future without it.”

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