On a magical night in New York, Serena Williams beat Montenegrin Danka Kovinic on Monday in her debut at the US Open, the probable scene of her farewell to professional tennis.
Serena, 40 years old and winner of 23 Grand Slam titles, delayed her goodbye by beating Kovinic, number 80 in the WTA ranking, 6-3, 6-3.
The American celebrated her victory in style with her 23,800 dedicated fans on the center court of Flushing Meadows, the largest and noisiest in the world, and will now face Estonian Anett Kontaveit, world number 2, on Wednesday in the second round.
Although she will also compete in doubles alongside her older sister, Venus, the sports world had all eyes on Serena Williams’ singles premiere, which was attended by celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Mike Tyson and Hugh Jackman, with the expectation that It was the last game of his idol.
The electric atmosphere came over Kovinic, a tennis player 13 years younger and without titles in her showcase.
The Montenegrin, who had recognized in the previous run that she felt “honored” by this opportunity, was overtaken by a Williams who showed her best form since her recent return to competition after a year of inactivity.
The American relied on her still powerful serve (9 aces) to reduce efforts and was relentless in key moments, saving eight of the 10 break points she faced.
One month after her 41st birthday, Serena Williams has hinted that she will retire after her participation in this US Open, a tournament in which she became known in 1999 with her first Grand Slam title at the age of 19.