US Open tournament director Stacey Allaster jokingly revealed the tournament had security staff lined up in case Serena Williams tried to storm off the court like in Cincinnati. In Cincinnati, Williams suffered a 6-4 6-0 loss to Emma Raducanu in the first round.

The Cincinnati organizers had a planned ceremony for Williams, but she stormed off the court so it was all for nothing. After Williams defeated Danka Kovinic in the US Open first round, a special ceremony took place on Arthur Ashe.

“We were going to see how the cards unfolded. We saw how she (Serena Williams) played in Cincinnati against Raducanu and it wasn’t pretty. She just walked right ofd the court. So we had our security in place, so if she lost, she wasn’t walking right out of the court.

Even Gayle and Billy, standing right there, so she was not leaving. Luckily we didn’t have that moment,” Allaster said on the ‘Courtside: The US Open Podcast,’ per Sportskeeda.
Allaster: We made sure to give Williams a proper ceremony

In Toronto, Williams announced her plans to retire after the US Open.

The US Open organizers had just less than two weeks to prepare and plan a special ceremony for Williams, who became a Grand Slam champion at the 1999 US Open. “There were lots of tears (after Serena Williams’ retirement announcement).

And how do we do this? How do we pay tribute to the GOAT? It all came together very organically…We didn’t have those videos until a week before…We were so fortunate to have Oprah voice it. We had Billy and Gayle there, we had the stunt card.

We only had the stunt card in less than seven days in advance, but that went well,” Allaster added. Before the tournament started, the US Open organizers agreed that Williams’ special ceremony would take place after the American’s first round match.

“We just said, win or lose, it’s a tribute. We can’t put the genie in the bottle. We have all these pieces, we can’t do it. What was so fantastic is that she won that night. I think for her, she got that out, the energy and nervousness out.

She still was incredibly emotional but she was able to absorb and take the moment in a lot more. To hear Billie’s words and the conversation with Gayle, and the video, and the fans with ‘We heart Serena.’ How perfect right?” Allaster explained. Williams reached the US Open third round, before Ajla Tomljanovic handed her a three-set defeat.

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