NEW YORK -- Serena Williams gave an emotional speech after what was likely her final tennis match Friday night.

"These are happy tears, I guess. I don't know. And I wouldn't be Serena if there wasn't Venus, so thank you Venus.

She's the only reason Serena Williams ever existed ... It's been a fun ride. It's been the most incredible ride and journey I've ever been on."

In the piece, she said she preferred the word "evolution" instead of "retirement" and acknowledged how difficult it was to come to the decision.

When Fernandez asked her if there was any chance she would reconsider walking away, she smiled. "I don't think so, but you never know."

she smiled. "I don't think so, but you never know."

A little later, pressed on the same topic at her postmatch news conference, Williams joked,

I always did love Australia,'' the country that hosts the next Grand Slam tournament in January.

"I've been down before. ... I don't really give up,'' Williams said.