Serena Williams was seemingly destined to be a tennis immortal and she gave a glimpse of her burning ambition back in 1991 when was just nine years old.

Her father and then coach, Richard Williams, also discusses the potential money Serena could make and the pressure that will follow her.

WATCH IN THE VIDEO ABOVE: Nine-year-old Serena talks to CNN

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Almost $US100 million in prize money later, it’s fair to say Serena has handled the pressure just fine.

And is there more prize money on the horizon?

Williams has left the door tantalisingly ajar for a shock Australian Open comeback.

Williams’ legendary career almost certainly came to an end with an enthralling, emotion-charged third-round US Open loss to Australian Ajla Tomljanovic on Friday night (Saturday AEST).

Respectful Kyrgios in awe of once-in-a-generation Serena

Respectful Kyrgios in awe of once-in-a-generation Serena

But such was the extraordinarily high quality of her performance, after barely playing in the past 14 months, that the 40-year-old refused to categorically rule out a return.

“I don’t think so but you never know. I don’t know,” Williams said when asked on court if there was any chance she may come back.

“I’m literally playing my way into this and getting better. I should have started sooner.”

Asked an hour later in her post-match press conference if there was any wiggle room for a return, the 23-times grand slam champ said teasingly: “I don’t know. I’m not thinking about that. I always did love Australia, though.”

CAREER SNAPSHOT OF RETIRED TENNIS LEGEND SERENA WILLIAMS

Age: 40

Born: Saginaw, Michigan, USA

Lives: Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, USA

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Ranking: 605

Career-high ranking: 1

Total weeks as world No.1: 319

Career prize money: $US94,806,080

Career titles: 73

Career win-loss record: 858-156

Grand slam win-loss record: 367-56

Grand slam titles: 23 (Australian Open 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2017; French Open 2002, 2013, 2015; Wimbledon 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016; US Open 1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014)

Grand slam doubles titles: 14 (Australian Open 2001, 2003, 2009, 2010; French Open 1999, 2010; Wimbledon 2000, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2016; US Open 1999, 2009) – all with sister Venus Williams

Grand slam mixed doubles titles: 2 (Wimbledon 1998; US Open 1998) – both with Max Mirnyi

Olympic singles gold medals: 1 (gold, London 2012)

Olympic doubles gold medals: 3 (Sydney 2000, Beijing 2008, London 2012, all with sister Venus)

– with AAP

Nick Kyrgios gives Stefanos Tsitsipas cheeky drive-by.

Nick Kyrgios gives Stefanos Tsitsipas cheeky drive-by.