Serena Williams' US Open farewell sparks reactions and tributes on Twitter

Serena fights back tears in emotional postmatch interview (3:10)

Serena Williams thanks her parents, her sisters and millions of fans in an emotional farewell interview at the US Open. (3:10)

The Serena Williams era has come to an end -- at least for now.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion played what is expected to be her final professional tennis match on Friday at the US Open. She lost in the third round against Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-1 in a thrilling affair. Williams staved off five match points before eventually losing and received a fitting ovation from the crowd at the end

In August, Williams announced in a first-person essay for Vogue magazine that her tennis career was winding down, saying this year's US Open would probably be her final tournament. In the piece, she spoke about her desire to grow her family as a reason for her "evolution." Williams was visibly emotional during her postmatch interview.

"It's been a fun ride", Williams said. "It's been the most incredible ride and journey I've ever been on."

When asked if she would reconsider her "evolution," Williams responded, "I don't think so but you never know."

If Friday's match was indeed Williams' last match, she ends her tennis career as one of the sport's all-time greats. Her aforementioned 23 Grand Slam titles are the most by any player in the Open era (since 1968) and she trails only Margaret Court (24) for most of all time. Williams' on-court dominance has inspired the next generation of stars in women's tennis, including 18-year-old phenom Coco Gauff.

With Williams' likely final match in the books, several players congratulated her on a surefire Hall of Fame career.

Other stars like Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant and more also gave Williams her flowers on social media.