The 23-time Grand Slam champion defeated Danka Kovinic 6-3, 6-3.
According to a recent article in TheRoot.com by ByStephanie Holland, Serena Williams advances to play another round in the 2022 US Open.
The US Open isn’t like other Grand Slam tennis tournaments. The New York crowd brings an atmosphere and energy you can’t get anywhere else. The 2022 competition has taken on an even deeper meaning with legendary star Serena Williams announcing it will be her last competition. As previously reported at The Root, in a cover story for the September issue of Vogue, Serena wrote, “I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me. A few years ago I quietly started Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm. Soon after that, I started a family. I want to grow that family.”
The six-time US Open champion began her final Grand Slam against Danka Kovinic of Montenegro. They had never played one another before, so there were questions about how the No. 80 player in the world would react to all the emotion and fanfare of the evening. While they both started off a little nervous, it was clearly Serena’s night and ultimately she cruised to a 6-3,6-3 victory.
Throughout the match, Kovinic kept things interesting, but it was clear right from the start that Serena was not ready to say goodbye tonight. Honestly, it felt like old times as the 23-time Grand Slam champion dropped nine aces and a first serve at 68 percent.
Opening night always features extra festivities like tributes, musical performances, and speeches, but with this being Serena’s farewell, they saved the big celebration for after the match.
Gayle King hosted a short ceremony with a great tribute from tennis legend Billie Jean King, a video by Oprah, and a quick interview with the woman of the hour where she thanked the crowd for their support and once again discussed how hard the decision to leave tennis has been.