Serena Williams kept her Australian Open press conference brief as she left early after an emotional day.
Williams lost to Naomi Osaka in straight sets (6-3, 6-4), falling short of her record-tying 24th major title. After her loss, Williams put her hand on her heart as she left the court.
A reporter asked Williams what was going through her mind as she walked off.
“I don’t know. The Aussie crowd is so amazing, so it was nice to see,” Williams said.
The reporter followed up by asking whether putting her hand over her heart was a way of saying farewell.
“If I ever say farewell, I wouldn’t tell anyone,” Williams responded.
After answering that question, Williams’ tone notably changed as she started to look up, as if she was trying to stop the tears from coming out. Only one other question was asked after that, and Williams only responded, “I don’t know” before saying, “I’m done,” and walking out.
Williams’ press conference only lasted about four minutes before she left.
While she did not return to answer questions to reporters, she did post a message on Instagram.
“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.”