Tennis favourite Kirsten Flipkens said goodbye to singles competition after a long career in a tearful farewell against Simona Halep at Wimbledon.
Halep was made to work for her second round win after finding herself down 5-2 in the first and 4-1 in the second set.
However, the Romanian was able to lift her game and overcome Flipkens' constant net pressure to take the match 7-5, 6-4.
While Halep advanced to the third round, all eyes were on Flipkens.
The beloved tennis star was greeted with a warm embrace at the net with Halep, before the Romanian gave way to Flipkens to say goodbye to the fans and the court.
Flipkens kissed the hallowed grass of Wimbledon, before leaving her trademark headband on court to signal her farewell.
Flipkens was a 201 Wimbledon semi-finalist.
The tennis world, including Aussie Daria Saville, was quick to share their best wishes after the emotional scenes.
I went back to see the end of Halep v Flipkens and was ATTACKED out of nowhere by this very long, warm, friendly embrace between the two after Halep won 7-5, 6-4 to send Flipkens into retirement 😭 pic.twitter.com/5zlq8HaXTx
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) June 30, 2022
— Saša Ozmo (@ozmo_sasa) June 30, 2022
beautiful embrace between Halep and Flipkens at the conclusion of her last singles match pic.twitter.com/w4E8ZT5yLB
— Ryan (@Some1NamedRyan) June 30, 2022
Simona won, it wasnt easy, but she did what we love, she fought back from big deficits. But the bigger thing is this was Kirsten final singles match. She played amazingly with all her heart today and made Simona work for this win. Simona Halep defeated Kirsten Flipkens 7-5, 6-4. pic.twitter.com/pO58NOz7Tb
— Romanian Tennis (@WTARomania) June 30, 2022
Halep after beating Flipkens: Definitely it's not about my match today, it's about her. I'm really happy I can play the last match against her. We talked in Dubai about this moment; it was pretty emotional back then, but now it's double. She's a champion..https://t.co/O4PkBFHntg
— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) June 30, 2022
Aussie Ajla Tomljanovic advances at Wimbledon
meanwhile, Ajla Tomljanovic has surged into the Wimbledon third round to remain on track for another deep run at the All England Club.
Tomljanovic had too much firepower for Wimbledon debutant Catherine Harrison, taking out the American qualifier 6-2, 6-2 in one hour, 26 minutes on Thursday.
A quarter-final loser to Ash Barty last year, Tomljanovic is doing an admirable job stepping up as Australian tennis's new women's No.1 following the reigning champion's shock retirement in March.
The 29-year-old is yet to drop a set this campaign, conceding only nine games en route to the last 32.
But Tomljanovic is not being weighed down by the impossible burden of having to follow Barty.
"Not having Ash here - she is such a big presence in the Aussie tennis world - it does feel like there's a little bit more responsibility, but at the same time I'm just focusing on myself," she said.
"Today was really good. I wasn't feeling too sharp when I woke up, a bit lethargic. Maybe that made me feel a little bit more alert when I started.
"I didn't really know what to expect from her (Harrison), but I knew she had four great wins to get to this stage.
"I played her actually in doubles at the French and noticed that her serve was pretty good, especially from her height. I knew it would be a tricky match but, yeah, I felt really good off the ground."
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