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Fans react to what might be Serena Williams' final U.S. Open

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

As the U.S. Open begins today in New York, all eyes are on Serena Williams. The tennis icon hinted earlier this month that she might retire after this year's tournament.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Sharon Shea traveled to New York from Fort Myers, Fla., to watch what could be Williams' final U.S. Open. She sees this as the end of an era.

SHARON SHEA: It'll be a while before somebody gets to her caliber. So we're going to miss watching.

SHAPIRO: Shea is hardly alone in her admiration. Katherine and Keanna Okine are both competing in the Open this year.

KATHERINE OKINE: She's really strong.

KEANNA OKINE: Yeah, really strong.

KATHERINE OKINE: She's a very strong person.

CHANG: And like so many others around the world, their older sister, Kierra, sees Serena Williams as an inspiration.

KIERRA OKINE: If you think about what she's done, especially at the status that she is as a Black woman, it really, like, inspires a lot of other girls to, you know, like, take charge of the sport and, like, take action in what they really want to do.

SHAPIRO: Tonight's match against Montenegrin player Danka Kovinic may be the final time the world gets to see the legend in action.

(SOUNDBITE OF ANDERSON .PAAK SONG, "TWILIGHT") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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