Serena Williams' husband steals the show with 'amazing' US Open detail

·6-min read
Serena Williams' husband Alexis Ohanian was leading the cheers for his wife while wearing a t-shirt featuring the couple's daughter Olympia. Pic: Getty/US Open Tennis
Serena Williams' husband Alexis Ohanian was leading the cheers for his wife while wearing a t-shirt featuring the couple's daughter Olympia. Pic: Getty/US Open Tennis

Serena Williams' husband Alexis Ohanian has won the internet after stealing some of the spotlight away from his wife's emotional farewell at the US Open.

Williams' dreams of a fairytale finish to her glittering career were ended by Ajla Tomljanovic as the Aussie claimed a thrilling three-set win over the 23-time grand slam champion.

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The 40-year-old Williams - who last month revealed she was "evolving" away from tennis - went down 7-5 6-7 (4/7) 6-1 in a gruelling 3-hour and 5-minute battle.

The retiring great's farewell match was played amid a cacophony of noise inside the Arthur Ashe Stadium centre court at Flushing Meadows on Friday night (Saturday AEST).

Before the match, Tomljanovic had to sit through the same brutal routine as Williams' previous two opponents as montages of some of the American's greatest moments were flashed on the big screens inside the stadium.

The pre-match presentations have been branded “very disrespectful” by viewers such as the The Times’ Stu Fraser, with many justifiably feeling sorry for Williams' opponents.

However, one man who was happy to go along with the ride was Williams' husband Ohanian, who stole the show with an incredible display of support during his wife's final match.

The Reddit co-founder, wearing a t-shirt featuring the couple's daughter Olympia on the front, was rallying the American legend throughout the epic three-set contest.

On numerous occasions, Ohanian jumped out of his seat, throwing his arms in the air and roaring in delight when Williams won big points.

Ohanian's unwavering support sent the internet into a frenzy, with viewers particularly enamoured by the Olympia detail on his t-shirt.

Having set up a deciding third set with a heroic effort in the second stanza that ended in a tiebreak win for Williams, the 40-year-old visibly wilted in the decider.

As Tomljanovic raced into a 5-1 lead in the third set, Williams summoned every last drop of her fighting spirit to stave off defeat, saving five match points in a marathon seventh game before finally succumbing.

Afterwards, Williams saluted the crowd, welling up as Tina Turner's anthem "Simply the Best" belted out around the stands.

Serena Williams offers one last tease for fans

The 40-year-old even offered a giant tease for legion of fans after being asked whether there was any possibility of extending her career.

She replied: "I don't think so, but you never know."

"It's been a fun ride," Williams added. "It's been the most incredible ride and journey I've ever been on, I mean, in my life.

"I'm just so grateful to every single person that's ever said, 'Go, Serena,' in their life. You got me here."

Seen here, An emotional Serena Williams addressing family and friends after her glittering career came to an end at the US Open.
An emotional Serena Williams addresses family and friends after her glittering career was ended at the US Open. Pic: Getty

Williams reserved special praise for her parents Richard Williams and Oracene Price who had set her and her elder sister Venus on the path to superstardom.

"It all started with my parents," Williams said. "They deserve everything. So I'm really grateful for them."

Williams also paid tribute to her sister as she looked on from the stands.

"I wouldn't be Serena if there wasn't Venus, so thank you, Venus. She's the only reason that Serena Williams ever existed," she said.

Ajla Tomljanovic in classy tribute to Serena Williams

Meanwhile, Tomljanovic expressed disappointment that Williams' career had drawn to a close, with the Aussie sharing a beautiful tribute to the 23-time grand slam champion.

"I'm feeling really sorry just because I love Serena just as much as you guys do," she told the crowd. "What she's done for me, for the sport of tennis, is incredible.

"I never thought I'd have a chance to play her in her last match when I remember watching her in all those finals, so this is a surreal moment for me."

Every unforced error or mistake by Tomljanovic was greeted by cheers from the New York crowd, who conversely remained mostly silent whenever the Australian fired off a winner.

Williams meanwhile was let down by her serve, widely regarded as one of the most reliably formidable weapons in her arsenal throughout her career. Though she was still able to send down 11 aces during the match, she was broken no fewer than eight times.

Tomljanovic had recovered from 5-3 down in the first set to break Williams, before rattling off four straight games to take the early lead.

Tomljanovic also forced a tiebreak in the second set after Williams had led 4-0. Williams took the breaker to level at 1-1, but the energy-sapping 1hr 23min second set clearly took its toll on the American.

The Australian looked by far the fresher of the two in the decider and she quickly built a 5-1 lead in the third before closing out the win.

with agencies

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