Serena Williams played what was billed as the final match of her career on Friday – but the 23-time Grand Slam champion left the door slightly ajar for a possible re-think on her future.

The icon who turns 41 at the end of the month said in August that she would retire sometime after the US Open, which ended for her with a 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-1 loss to Australian Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round.

But there is always a chance…

“I’m not thinking about that (playing the Australian Open)…but I always did love Australia, though.

“I’ve come a long way since last year at Wimbledon (first-round loss). I was just not sure if that was my last moment or not.

“Making it a different moment I think is much better.”

She added: “It takes a lot of work to get here. Clearly I’m still capable. It takes a lot more than that.

“I’m ready to, like, be a mom, explore a different version of Serena. Technically in the world I’m still super young, so I want to have a little bit of a life while I’m still walking.”