Serena Williams falls at US Open in match that was epic tribute to her legendary career | Opinion

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There is almost never a moment when Arthur Ashe Stadium is completely silent. It is too big, too vacuous.

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There are too many people scurrying to seats, having hushed conversations or clinking glasses filled with $22 cocktails.

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When tennis players come into this oversized den of concrete and steel, they know it is not supposed to be either quiet or comfortable. 

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And yet, as Serena Williams stepped to the line for what probably was the final match of a forever career, there was no discernible sound at all.

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The usual din and hum of nearly 24,000 people packed into the place had melted into an eerie nothingness, as though all those sets of eyes were locked onto the one person

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To look with that much awe and intensity at Williams at this stage of her tennis life is to wonder what’s left inside from the player she once was, to see how deep her reservoir.

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She announced this U.S. Open would be her final tournament because she knows how much harder it is to conjure those championship qualities at this stage of the game.

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Her athletic abilities may be diminished by all the miles and all the injuries and all the natural things that happen at age 40, but on Friday night,

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