Serena Williams leaves door slightly open for return with Australian Open jest

(Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

While Serena Williams said goodbye to the US Open court at Arthur Ashe on Friday night, she may have left the door slightly open for a possible return.

Back in August, Williams announced in a Vogue article that she would be “evolving away from tennis.” But on Friday, she remained elusive on whether or not this was truly the end of her professional tennis career.

When asked by ESPN’s Mary Joe Fernandez about if she would reconsider walking away, Williams didn’t give a resounding no.

“I don’t think so, but you never know,” she said. “I don’t know.”

The sentiment matched earlier comments, in which Williams remained aloof on whether or not this is her final tournament.

“I’m not necessarily retiring, I’m just evolving from tennis,” she said after her first round win. “The more tournaments I play, I feel like the more I can belong out there and that’s a tough feeling to have and to leave knowing that the more you do it the more you can shine. But it’s time for me.”

“I’ve been pretty vague about it,” Williams continued when asked if this definitively is her final tournament. “I’m gonna stay vague, because you never know.”

On Friday, Williams joked about a possible appearance at the Australian Open – the next Grand Slam which will take place in January.

“I always did love Australia,” she joked. “But you know what? I think I’ve come a long way since last year at Wimbledon, just not sure if that was my last moment or not and making it a different moment is much better. It takes a lot of work to get here. Clearly I’m still capable, but it takes a lot more like that.”

But, Williams reiterated, she’s excited to step into what’s next.

“I’m ready to be a mom and explore a different version of Serena,” she said.