NEW YORK – Serena Williams’s defeat on the U.S. Open on Friday in what was likely the ultimate match of her glittering profession was the most-watched tennis telecast in ESPN’s 43-year history, the network said on Tuesday.
Williams’s third-round loss to beat Arthur Ashe Stadium in Latest York averaged 4.8 million viewers from 7:15 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. ET and peaked with 6.9 million viewers within the 10:15 p.m. quarter-hour.
Williams and sister Venus took the tennis world by storm after they emerged from the courts of Compton, California as teenagers and went on to dominate and alter the face of the predominantly white sport.
Serena Williams waves to the gang after being defeated by Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia in Flushing Meadows, Latest York. JASON SZENES/EPA-EFE/Shutterstoc
The winner of 23-Grand Slam singles tournaments, Williams transcended the game and her likely departure from competitive tennis to give attention to growing her family and business interests led to a flood of tributes from athletes, celebrities and politicians.
Williams’s three singles matches and one doubles match alongside Venus helped drive up viewership through the primary five days of the tournament as a mean of 1.1. million viewers tuned in to ESPN networks, up 101% versus 2021.
Serena Williams celebrates some extent during her last profession match against Ajla Tomljanovic on the US Open.Getty Images
“These are the most-viewed first five days of the U.S. Open on record on ESPN networks,” ESPN said in a press release.
A spokesman for network, whose stable of tennis analysts include former world number ones Chris Evert, John McEnroe and Caroline Wozniacki, last week told Reuters that the network could be joyful to debate the potential for bringing Williams into the published booth if she desired to go in that direction in retirement.