Serena Williams turns 40 in September, and no one knows how many more French Open appearances she will make, as this year’s tournament ended for her on Sunday.
Williams fell way behind and could not put together a comeback against a much younger and less-experienced opponent in the fourth round at Roland Garros, losing 6-3, 7-5 to Elena Rybakina — who wasn’t even born when the American made her tournament debut in 1998.
Asked whether that might have been her last match at the clay-court major, Williams responded: “Yeah, I’m definitely not thinking about it at all. I’m definitely thinking just about other things, but not about that.”
The next Grand Slam on the calendar is Wimbledon, which begins June 28.
“I’m kind of excited to switch surfaces,” Williams said. “Historically I have done pretty well on grass.”
Williams has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, and coupled with 20-time Slam champ Roger Federer‘s withdrawal from the tournament Sunday, two of the sport’s greatest and most popular players are done at the French Open. That’s quite a blow to the tournament, its TV partners and tennis fans to see both gone from the field one after the other — and a week after Naomi Osaka pulled out, citing a need for a mental health break.
Williams has won the French Open three times. But the American hasn’t been past the fourth round in Paris since she was the runner-up in 2016.
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