Serena Williams walked out of her post-match press conference in tears after losing to Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open semifinals on Thursday.
Williams fell to Osaka in straight sets, 6–3, 6–4, failing in another chance to tie Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles.
As she exited the court, Williams gave the crowd an emotional goodbye amid a standing ovation and placed her hand over her heart. The gesture caused many to wonder if she had just played her final match at the Australian Open and wanted to show the fans in Melbourne what they mean to her.
Williams was next asked what she thought led to her 24 unforced errors but struggled to answer the question.
"I don't know. ... I'm done," she said, leaving the interview in tears.
Williams, 39, did not return to finish the news conference and later took to Instagram to address her fans.
"Melbourne and my Australian fans- Today was not an ideal outcome or performance but it happens... I am so honored to be able to play in front of you all," Williams wrote. "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 every single one of you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I adore you."
This year marked the first time Williams had reached the semifinals in Melbourne since she won the 2017 Australian Open. Williams has lost four Grand Slam finals since.
Many felt this tournament was Williams's last best chance to tie Court's record. However, it wasn't enough to stop Osaka, the world's No. 3-ranked player, who now has a chance to win her fourth Grand Slam title at age 23.