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US Open: Serena Williams kicks off farewell Grand Slam with straight sets win

Serena Williams won against Danka Kovinic 6-3, 6-3 on Monday night and will play Estonian Anett Kontaveit, the second seed, in the next round

Serena Williams of the U.S. during her first round match at the 2022 U.S. Open Serena Williams of the U.S. during her first round match at the 2022 U.S. Open Image Credit: AI/ Reuters/ Panoramic

Playing in her final Grand Slam before retirement, Serena Williams advanced to the second round of the US Open.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion defeated Montenegrin Danka Kovinic 6-3, 6-3 in one hour and 41 minutes at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City on Monday night in front of a packed crowd that brought the house down with their cheers.

The six-time US Open champion was helped by nine aces and saved eight of the 10 break points against her serve during the contest.

The win was only the second for Williams in five matches on tour this year. Earlier this month, Serena Williams announced that she would retire, or as she called it ‘evolve’, over the next few weeks. She has also entered the women’s doubles draw with sister Venus Williams, with whom she has won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles.

Billie Jean King and Oprah Winfrey lead Serena Williams on court celebrations after win

After the match, the 40-year-old was celebrated with a ceremony on court where tennis legend Billie Jean King spoke about Williams on the court, Oprah Winfrey voiced over a thank you message on behalf of ‘All of Us’ and American TV personality Gayle King interviewed her on court.

The organizers had also arranged a fan card stunt that helped spell out ‘We❤️Serena’ across the Ashe Stadium.

Williams to meet second seed Kontaveit for the first time

Serena Williams is through to the second round where she will meet second seed Anett Kontaveit, of Estonia. Kontaveit scored a 6-3, 6-0 win over Jaqueline Cristian earlier on Monday.

The second round clash between Williams and Kontaveit will be the first meeting between the two players.

US Open (Grand Slam), other first-round results:

  • Liudmila Samsonova beat Sara Bejlek (Q): 6-3, 6-1
  • Aleksandra Krunic beat Elina Avanesyan (Q): 6-4, 6-4
  • Anna Karolina Schmiedlova beat Nadia Podoroska: 6-3, 6-2
  • Anett Kontaveit beat Jaqueline Cristian: 6-3, 6-0
  • Barbora Krejcikova (23) beat Fernanda Contreras Gomez (Q): 6-0, 6-4
  • Shelby Rogers (31) beat Arantxa Rus: 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
  • Ajla Tomljanovic beat Karolina Muchova: 6-3, 7-6 (5)
  • Shuai Zhang beat Jil Teichmann (30): 6-4, 6-2
  • Elena-Gabriela Ruse beat Daria Saville: 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
  • Rebecca Marino beat Magdalena Frech: 6-2, 6-3
  • Evgeniya Rodina beat Martina Trevisan (27): 7-5, 6-1
  • Ons Jabeur (5) beat Madison Brengle: 7-5, 6-2
  • Xiyu Wang beat Diane Parry: 5-7, 6-3, 6-3
  • Madison Keys (20) beat Dayana Yastremska: 7-6 (3), 6-3
  • Harriet Dart beat Daria Kasatkina (10): 7-6 (8), 1-6, 6-3
  • Camila Giorgi beat Anna Bondar: 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
  • Beatriz Haddad Maia (15) beat Ana Konjuh: 6-0, 6-0
  • Coco Gauff (12) beat Leolia Jeanjean (Q): 6-2, 6-3
  • Maryna Zanevska beat Coco Vandeweghe (WC): 6-1, 7-5
  • Dalma Galfi beat Nuria Parrizas Diaz: 6-4, 6-3
  • Daria Snigur (Q) beat Simona Halep (7): 6-2, 0-6, 6-4
  • Elizabeth Mandlik (WC) beat Tamara Zidansek: 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-4
  • Bianca Andreescu beat Harmony Tan (WC): 6-0, 3-6, 6-1
  • Maria Sakkari (3) beat Tatjana Maria: 6-4, 3-6, 6-0
  • Veronika Kudermetova (18) beat Donna Vekic: 7-5, 6-3
  • Camila Osorio beat Ann Li: 1-6, 6-3, 6-1
  • Alison Riske-Amritraj (29) beat Eleana Yu (WC): 6-2, 6-4
  • Caroline Garcia (17) beat Kamilla Rakhimova (LL): 6-2, 6-4
  • Anna Kalinskaya beat Rebecca Peterson: 6-4, 6-3
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