Serena Williams is not ready to say goodbye just yet.
In her first match at what is expected to be the last US Open – and last tournament – of her remarkable playing career, Williams overcame a shaky start to overwhelm Danka Kovinic 6-3, 6-3 on Monday night (Tuesday morning AEST) in a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium with an atmosphere more akin to a festival than a farewell.
Serena Williams overcame a shaky start to win her first-round match at the US Open.Credit:AP
Early, Williams was not at her best. There were double-faults, other missed strokes, missed opportunities. She went up 2-0, but then quickly trailed 3-2. Then, suddenly, Williams looked a lot more like someone with six championships at Flushing Meadows and 23 grand slam titles in all.
She rolled through the end of that opening set, capping it with a service winner she reacted to with clenched fists and a cry of “come on!” The more than 23,000 in attendance rose for a raucous standing ovation. There would be more, as Williams carried that terrific level into the second set against Kovinic, a 27-year-old from Montengero.
Williams will continue to play now, facing No. 2 seed Anett Kontveit of Estonia in the second round.
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