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Serena Williams' farewell match was most watched in ESPN history

APTOPIX US Open Tennis
Posted at 6:51 AM, Sep 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-07 09:51:53-04

Serena Williams demanded attention until the very end.

ESPN says her third-round match at the U.S. Open was the most-watched tennis match in the network's 43-year history.

Williams lost to Ajla Tomljanović in what was likely her final professional tennis match. The three-hour match averaged 4.8 million viewers and peaked with nearly 7 million tuning in.

That smashed the network's previous record, which was set in 2012 when Roger Federer beat Andy Murray for the Wimbledon title.

Williams, a 23-time grand slam winner, said prior to the U.S. Open that she is "evolving" away from tennis and wants to grow her family.

In addition to thrilling fans on TV, Williams is also responsible for another record this year at the U.S. Open. More than 29,000 fans attended her first match of the tournament. That's the most-ever to watch a match at Arthur Ashe Stadium.