Serena Williams waved farewell to the US Open – and her illustrious career – amid emotional scenes after she lost to Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic on a thrilling night in New York.

Williams, who turns 41 this month, expects it to be her final match.

It will end a 27-year professional career that brought 23 major singles wins and sees the American widely labelled as the greatest of all time.

Williams lost 7-5 6-7 (4-7) 6-1 and had tears running down her face afterwards.

The former long-time world number one saved five match points in what proved to be the final game but was powerless to stop a sixth.

Almost everyone who could rose to their feet when she departed the court on Arthur Ashe Stadium – the scene of her first major triumph in 1999 and five more of the finest wins in her storied career – for what she intends to be the last time.

As she waved goodbye and gave a signature twirl, Tina Turner’s pop classic ‘Simply The Best’ boomed out over the sound system.

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