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  • Writer's pictureEd Gaines

Osaka Defeats Serena, Advances to Australian Final; Serena Leaves In Tears

Twenty-three-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams walked out of her post-match news conference in tears today after her loss to Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open semifinals.

Osaka defeated Williams 6-3, 6-4 to advance to her second final in three years, leaving Serena still searching for her record-tying 24th major title.

Williams put her hand on her heart as she left the court. At the news conference, the 39-year-old tennis legend was asked what was going through her mind as she walked off.

Serena said, "I don't know. The Aussie crowd is so amazing, so it was nice to see," referencing the standing ovation she received when walking from Rod Laver Arena.

Asked if having her hand on her heart was her way of saying farewell, Williams responded, "If I ever say farewell, I wouldn't tell anyone."

Shortly after, Williams was asked what caused her unforced error tally to rise against Osaka. Williams struck 24 errors across the two sets, easily the most from any match she had played this tournament.

She said, "I don't know ... I'm done," before putting her head in her hand and leaving the interview podium in tears.

Williams did not return to finish the news conference. However, she took to Instagram a short while later to address "Melbourne and my Australian fans."

"Today was not ideal outcome or performance but it happens," Williams wrote. "I am so honored to be able to play in front of you all. Your support -your cheers, I only wish I could have done better for you today. I am forever in debt and grateful to each and everyone single one of you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I adore you."

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