In Williams' third-round clash against Ajla Tomljanovic today, however, the five-year-old could not make it to the match, perhaps influenced by the fact that it was her birthday and that she had had a busy day already. Thankfully, Ohanian ensured that the 23-time Grand Slam champion did not miss her daughter's presence, showing up to the Arthur Ashe Stadium with a t-shirt featuring Olympia on it.
The t-shirt, freshly made with a recent photo of Olympia from her appearance at Flushing Meadows a couple of days back, caught the attention of tennis fans online, who were delighted by how whole-hearted Alexis was in his support of the former World No. 1.
Motivated by the incredible show of encouragement from her family and fans, the 40-year-old continued to fight on despite losing the first set. After going 5-7 down in the opener, Serena Williams led by two breaks in the second before Tomljanovic came roaring back to level things up at 6-6 and force a tiebreaker.
However, the 23-time Grand Slam champion held her nerves to seal the set 7-6(4). A victory against the Australian would pit her against Liudmila Samsonova in the fourth round.
Tributes roll in for Serena Williams from fellow WTA players in light of her impending retirement
Tributes poured in for Serena Williams from her colleagues on the WTA Tour in light of her retirement, with many hailing the 23-time Grand Slam champion for paving the way for their own careers.
Garbine Muguruza revealed that she cried when she heard of Williams' announcement, remarking that the Williams sisters' fearlessness was the inspiration for her early on.
"I really cried when I saw the news because she inspired many of us. I'm one of those girls that started in a very difficult sport, playing tennis, having zero options to become a tennis player," Muguruza said. "And I remember my mom always saying, 'Look at these sisters and they made it. Look how fearless they are. You have to be like them.'"
Coco Gauff expressed a similar sentiment, noting that Williams was instrumental in changing the very way the game was played and that no one will ever influence the sport in the same way again.
"Serena Williams is definitely tennis, I would say. The way that she's changed the game. If you look at from when she started her career and how people are playing, to now when she's ending it and how people are playing," Gauff said. "I think that massive change is due to her. No one was doing it like her and I dont think anyone will ever do it like her."