US Open: Serena Williams’ party continues after first round win over Danka Kovinic | Tennis News
New York celebrated Serena Williams’ career wildly on Monday night but the party wasn’t over thanks to her first-round win over Danka Kovinic.
Williams announced earlier this month that the US Open will most likely be her last, ending a 27-year career that has seen her transcendence in tennis.
But the 40-year-old is first and foremost a huge competitor and she secured at least one more night in the lights with a 6-3 6-3 win, with second seed Estonia Anett Kontaveit now waiting on the flank after she overcame Jaqueline Cristian 6-3 6-0.
A record crowd came to pay tribute to Williams, and the noise grew louder as a clip was voiced by Queen Latifah playing six of Williams’ singles titles at Flushing Meadows.
Then the woman came out, wearing a designer dress and shoes studded with diamonds, crystals, and gold.
“I think when I walked out, the reception was really overwhelming,” she said afterward.
“It’s so big and I can feel it in my chest. It’s a really good feeling. It’s a feeling I’ll never forget. It means a lot to me.”
Williams has only won a singles match since last spring’s French Open, but Kovinic hasn’t been in great form either, having lost five games before that.
Nerves are evident in both, especially in the initial double-fault form, but, with a wall of noise welcoming every Williams winner, she sets out to give the crowd the good vibes. what they want.
She’s definitely moved better than she lost to Emma Raducanu in Cincinnati earlier this month, and her serves as well as her touchdowns increased as the game ended.
The second set, while not the classic Williams, is an indication that this lead lap may still have some way to go as she sets up a clash with Kontaveit on Wednesday.
In Cincinnati, Williams walked straight out of court, dodging the celebration that had been planned for her, but here she was able to embrace the moment as a post-match ceremony that saw the Her homage by Billie Jean King and Oprah Winfrey.
“I really feel different,” she said.
“I think I’ve been really emotional in Toronto and Cincinnati. It’s been tough. I’m not saying it’s not hard right now. It’s extremely difficult because I really enjoy being out there.
“The more tournaments I play, the more I feel like I can belong out there. It’s a tough feeling to get, and to know that, the more you do, the more you can shine.
“But it’s time for me to move on to the next thing. I think that’s important because there are so many other things that I want to do.”
The 40-year-old has kept her attitude low since announcing her decision in a Vogue essay earlier this month while fellow Williams players, especially those she directs, inspired to follow in her footsteps, already waiting in line.
honor her legacy.
“I’ll soon have plenty of time to do all that,” she added.
“I’m so grateful when they see that. I can see it too, but I don’t think too much about it. I’m still here for the time being, just enjoying it.
“I feel grateful that I can have that impact. I never thought I would have that impact. I’m just a girl trying to play tennis in a moment where I can develop an impact. this and become a voice.”
Williams will also be playing doubles with her sister Venus and, an enigma to the end, has refused to shut down completely in subsequent appearances.
“I was pretty vague about it, weren’t I,” she said. “I’ll be vague because you never know.”
In another development, last year’s runner-up Leylah Fernandezwho enjoyed an extraordinary run in New York, reaching the second round with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Oceane Dodin.
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