Serena Williams’ latest tennis match is the most watched in ESPN’s 43-year history with a peak of 6.9 million viewers – as her three singles competitions at the US Open and her match in double with her sister Venus increased the audience by 101%!
- Serena Williams’ US Open loss on Friday broke ESPN records
- Third-round loss to Ajla Tomljanovic was broadcaster’s most-watched game
- Williams’ three singles matches and doubles match helped boost viewership
Serena Williams’ loss at the US Open on Friday in the final match of her glittering career was the most-watched tennis telecast in ESPN’s 43-year history.
Williams’ third-round loss to Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic at New York’s Arthur Ashe Stadium averaged 4.8 million viewers from 7:15-10:30 p.m. ET and peaked at 6.9 million viewers at quarter of an hour from 10:15 p.m.
Williams and her sister Venus took the tennis world by storm when they stepped off the courts in Compton, California as teenagers and went on to dominate and change the face of the predominantly white sport.
A winner of 23 Grand Slam singles tournaments, Williams has transcended sport and his likely departure from competitive tennis to focus on growing his family and business interests has prompted a flood of tributes from athletes, celebrities and politicians.
Williams’ three singles matches and a doubles match alongside Venus helped boost viewership over the first five days of the tournament by an average of 1.1. million viewers tuned into ESPN networks, up 101% from 2021.
Serena Williams’ last tennis match last Friday was the most-watched in ESPN’s 43-year history
“These are the most-watched first five days of the US Open ever on ESPN Networks,” ESPN said in a press release.
A spokesperson for the network, whose stable of tennis analysts includes former stars Chris Evert, John McEnroe and Caroline Wozniacki, told Reuters last week that the network would be happy to discuss the possibility of bringing Williams in the broadcast booth if she wanted to go. guidance in retirement.
Williams revealed in an interview with Vogue last month that she plans to “step away” from tennis and her appearance at Flushing Meadows is expected to be her last tournament.
Williams’ three singles matches and doubles match with Venus helped boost viewership
The 40-year-old said after her last game, “I’m ready to be a mom and explore a different version of Serena.”
“And technically in the world, I’m still super young, so I want to have some life while I’m still walking,” she added with a chuckle.
In his on-court interview, Williams appeared to leave the door slightly ajar for a comeback. When asked if that was the case, she replied: “I think so, you never know”, before quickly leaving the court.
Williams had passed Danka Kovinic in the first round of the Grand Slam before stunning world number 2 Anett Kontaveit on Wednesday.
Williams played her last tennis match on Friday night and was overwhelmed with emotion
She shared with her fans a glimpse of her first days of life without tennis – in bed
However, his New York fairy tale came to an end at the massive Arthur Ashe Stadium after three hours and four minutes of an excellent game against Tomljanovic.
“Oh my god, thank you so much, you guys were amazing today,” she said in an emotional on-court interview. “I tried but Ajla just played a bit better.”
With tears in her eyes, she added, “Thank you dad, I know you are watching. Thanks Mom. I just want to thank everyone who is here, who has been by my side for so many years, so many decades. But it all started with my parents and they deserve it all, so I’m really grateful to them.
Williams, choked with emotion, went on to credit her older sister Venus as an inspiration for her defining role in her career.
“Those are tears of joy, I guess,” she said. ‘And I wouldn’t be Serena if it wasn’t Venus so thank you Venus. She’s the only reason Serena Williams ever existed.
“It’s been a fun ride, it’s the most amazing ride and trip I’ve ever had in my life.” And I’m so grateful to every single person who’s ever said “go Serena” in life. I’m so grateful because it brought me here.
Williams gave fans a glimpse into her first days of life without tennis, posting a picture of herself in bed on Monday.
Next to the photo of her sleeping under Disney character Moana’s bedding, she wrote, “How was your weekend?” It was mine….’
Serena Williams’ last tennis match is the most-watched in ESPN’s 43-year history