Ajla Tomljanovic praised for 'class act' of sportsmanship shown towards Serena Williams

Ajla Tomljanovic praised for 'class act' of sportsmanship shown towards Serena Williams
Serena Williams loses in third round of U.S. Open

Serena Williams, possibly the greatest tennis player of all time, has seen her glittering career come to an end after she was beaten in three sets by Australian star Ajla Tomljanovic at the US open.

Williams, who has won 23 major singles titles in her 27-year career, is turning 41 later this month and this is fully expected to be her final match as a full-time professional.

As you can imagine, almost everyone who was in attendance at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City rose to their feet to applaud Williams who bid her final farewell to the sport which she has dominated for decades.

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However, her exit from the court was made more poignant thanks to muted celebrations and a show of respect from 29-year-old Tomljanovic, who rather than return to the court to wave to the spectators, as is standard procedure, she instead allowed Williams to do it all by herself, thus giving the legend one last standing ovation.

This show of respect and sportsmanship by Tomljanovic was praised by the Australian commentary team who noted: "How classy from Ajla to not go crazy. She’s giving the stage to Serena Williams for the last time."

Speaking afterwards, Tomljanovic couldn't heap enough praise on Williams, her incredible career and what she means to her and so many other tennis players.

The Australian said: "I’m feeling really sorry just because I love Serena just as much as you guys do,” she told the crowd. What she’s done for me, for the sport of tennis, is incredible.

“I never thought I’d have a chance to play her in her last match when I remember watching her in all those finals, so this is a surreal moment for me.”

"Even to the last point, I knew that she’s in a position to win even when she’s down 5-1. That’s just who she is. She’s the greatest of all time. Period.”

While many tennis pundits and fans are rightly celebrating Williams and her remarkable career, the way Tomljanovic handled the situation is also being lauded across social media.

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