Serena Williams doesn’t mean goodbye. In his first match, what is anticipated will be his last US Open — and last tournament of his amazing career — Williams recovered from a shaky start to beat 6-3, 6-3 Danka Kovinic Monday night in a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium.
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The atmosphere was more typical of a carnival than the melancholy that accompanies farewells.
In the early stages, Williams didn’t look good. She double-faulted, was inaccurate and missed opportunities. She was up 2-0, but was down 3-2 in the blink of an eye. Suddenly, the Williams came out who has been champion six times in Flushing Meadows, and owner of a total of 23 titles of Grand Slam.
He put his foot down on the gas in that first set, capping it off with an ace, clenching his fists to shout his “Come on!”
More than 23,000 spectators jumped out of their seats to give her a standing ovation. They did it several more times, since Williams kept that level in the second set against Kovinica 27-year-old Montenegrin.
Williams keep running. And his rival on duty will be the Estonian Anett Kontveit — No. 2 in the world — on Wednesday.