Serena Williams loses and goes crying

Serena Williams pauses for a fleeting moment and puts her hand on her heart as she walks out of Rod Laver Stadium. I wave to the fans – for a little longer than what usually happens after a loss. It seemed like the last farewell on this hot summer Thursday night in Melbourne. When, after agonizing 3: 6, 4: 6 against Japanese Naomi Osaka in the semi-finals of the Australian Open, she broke off her press conference in tears and left the room with an answer, the tennis world began to puzzle even more.

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Will it end up with that long-awaited 24th Grand Slam title? Has the ever-setting record for Australian Margaret Court, controversial over anti-gay and lesbian statements, been forever rejected for possibly the best player in tennis history? Will Serena Williams, who turns 40 on September 26, be back in Australia? Are you still going to the top in Paris, Wimbledon or New York?

Williams responded with a smile when asked if she’d called her fans Dawn Under. After a five-day shutdown, spectators were finally allowed back to the facility in Melbourne Park – and witnessed the tumultuous scene as Williams left the stadium. “I don’t know. If I say goodbye, I will not tell anyone. So…” Williams later told the few reporters on the site.

“I love you. I love you”

This was followed by the eighth question. Whether she could explain her many small mistakes, especially given how well she has played in the tournament so far. Whether it was simply a bad day (which is nicely paraphrased in English as “Was it one of those bad days in the office?”). “I don’t know,” said Williams, swallowing up. “That’s it,” she said, started crying, got up and left the interview room crying.

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