Serena Williams is not yet fully prepared to leave. In front of a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday night.
Serena Williams’s first-round U.S. Open win over Danka Kovinic
Serena Williams overcame a shaky beginning to Danka Kovinic 6-3.
6-3 in a setting more reminiscent of a festival than a farewell.
Williams’ final U.S. Open match and competition is most likely going to be this one.
Serena Williams walked the short distance to the practice courts next to Arthur Ashe Stadium. At around 6:15 o’clock in the evening for a half-hour hitting session to warm up.
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Serena Williams was greeted by cheers from spectators crammed into the bleachers above the practice area as she entered and as she exited.
Serena Williams waved her racket in response before reentering the stadium with her lips pursed.
Williams wasn’t at her best early on. There were two mistakes. Other possibilities and missed strokes.
She immediately lost the lead 2-0 and went down 3-2.
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Then, Serena Williams, who is less than a month away from turning 41. Began to resemble someone with six Flushing Meadows victories and 23 Grand Slam victories.
Totals that have never been surpassed in the professional era of tennis began in 1968.
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She breezed through the final game of the first set, finishing it with a service winner to which she gave her customary “Come on!” Clenched fist reaction.
When the 1-hour 40-minute competition was over. The more than 23,000 spectators rose for another loud standing ovation. Rejoicing as though another prize had been won.
Even after winning, Serena Williams did not formally announce her retirement during a ceremony.
However, she made it apparent that she had already prepared for future endeavors by stating that “there are other chapters in life.”
Oprah Winfrey narrated the memorial piece “Dear Serena,” which was part of the ceremony that saw Billie Jean King, her husband, and her daughter enter the court.
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It said in closing: “Just know that we’ll be watching whatever you do next. Love to all of you.”
Serena Williams will keep competing now and take on Estonia’s Anett Kontveit, the No. 2 seed, on Wednesday.
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