Serena Williams defeats Danka Kovinic.
On a fun night in New York full of hope and excitement, Serena Williams prolonged her US Open farewell with a tough opening victory.
Williams defeated Danka Kovinic of Montenegro, winning 6-3, 6-3, and announcing her retirement after the competition.
On Wednesday, Williams, 40, will face Anett Kontaveit, the second-seeded Estonian.
She had to defeat Kovinic, who was ranked 80th in the world. When she converted the first of her three match points to ensure that her singles career would continue, there was a loud cheer.
When Kovinic’s return struck the net, Williams leaped to her feet, spun around in the middle of the court, and then kissed her adoring supporters.
Serena Williams entertains the crowd on a festive night.
Williams has long been more than just a tennis player, so the fact that she announced her retirement in an essay for the glitzy fashion magazine Vogue was a testament to her standing as an American icon and one of the most recognizable sports personalities in the world.
Although the former world number one chose to use the phrase “developing away” from the sport instead of using the word “retirement,” there is no denying that she intends to cap off her illustrious career this fortnight at her home major.
It was a glamorous and star-studded night, which seemed appropriate for what might have been her last match.
Following a film montage honoring Williams’ accomplishments as a player and a person, Williams unexpectedly onto the court to a rousing reception.
Kovinic had already entered the courtroom, leaving her with a protracted and undoubtedly anxious wait next to her chair.
Will Williams fulfill the audience expectation?
Director Spike Lee referred to Williams as his “little sister,” while Vogue editor Anna Wintour, another close friend, sat in a box behind the player’s family to watch the coin toss.
Serena Williams, who is currently ranked 413rd in the world, got off to a good start as she built a 2-0 lead before Kovinic rallied for a 3-2 victory and dampened the mood on Ashe.
It didn’t seem like Williams would give up the lead once she broke to take a 3-2 lead. The veteran was moving well, hitting well, and had a lot of talent as she advanced toward victory.
When she encounters Kontaveit, there will be another night of intrigue.
Even though the Estonian hasn’t lived up to her second-place ranking, losing to Williams would have a seismic impact on the entire sport.
It would also give some American supporters more cause to believe that their idol can somehow win that elusive 24th major and end his career in style by tying Court’s all-time record. These fans are fantasizing more out of emotional nostalgia than out of rational judgment.