Serena Williams played the final tennis tournament of her storied career in the first round of the U.S. Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium, opening singles play with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Danka Kovinic.
Serena will open doubles play with Venus on Wednesday. Williams will play world No. 2 Annette Kontaveit of Estonia in the singles round on Wednesday. This will be the first meeting of their careers.
After initial struggles with his serve on Monday evening, Williams played 10 of his final 13 games against the 27-year-old Kovinic of Montenegro, ranked 80th in the world.
During a post-match event celebrating her tennis career, Williams said she got a boost from the vocal crowd of about 24,000. “The crowd was crazy,” she said.
A key moment came in the sixth game of the first set when Kovinic appeared on his way to a 4-2 lead. But a Williams shot that looked long and wide was neither, nipping the back of the baseline and the outside edge of the singles sideline. This was the first of 11 straight points for Serena Williams, as she coasted the rest of her way.
This was Williams’ third match since announcing she was “retiring from tennis”.
“I’ve never liked the word retirement. I’ve been thinking of this as a change, but I want to be sensitive to how I use that word, which means something very specific.” and important to a community of people,” Serena Williams said in a Vogue article which published earlier this month.
I’m here to tell you that I’m moving away from tennis, evolving towards other things that are important to me.”
She was asked in the post-match press conference if this was her last tournament.
“Yeah, I’m pretty vague about this, aren’t I?” She said with a smile. “I’ll remain vague because you never know.”
But earlier in court Serena Williams, 40, said it was a difficult decision to move forward.
I think when you’re passionate about something and you love something that much, it’s always hard to walk away.’ “Sometimes I think it’s harder to walk away than it is to walk away. That is the way it is for me.”
When Gail King asked what winning would be for her in the future, Williams pointed to her venture capital company and added that she wanted to work on her spiritual life.
Witnessing Serena Williams’ solo victory was her husband, Alexis Ohanian, and their daughter, Olympia, with the young woman wearing white beads in her hair, reminiscent of her appearance as a teenager in 1999 when she won the first of her six US Open titles.
“I look forward to waking up and just being like, OK, I don’t have to run to court today,” Williams said. “I’m just looking forward to being a mom. She’s such a good girl. I just want to be a good mom to her.”
Also on Monday, Ukraine’s Daria Snigur won her qualifying match to reach the tournament, upsetting No. 7 seed Simona Halep of Romania 6-2, 0-6, 6-4 in three sets. An emotional snigger said: “This match is for Ukraine, for my family, for all the fans who supported me. I want to thank you all.”
This was Snigur’s first Grand Slam match at this level. In 2019, she won the Wimbledon girls’ singles title. if you want to know more, please comment to us.