New York, United States, Aug 31 (EFE).- In what will probably be her last United States Open, Serena Williams is determined to fight with everything in every match and showed it Wednesday with a spectacular 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-2 victory against world No. 2 Anett Kontaveit.
At 40 and with 23 Grand Slam titles to her name, Serena continues to show her tireless competitive spirit and delayed her tennis goodbye, which she announced weeks before the start of the US Open, suggesting it would be after this tournament.
Serena celebrated her 367th Grand Slam victory, confirming her dominance in the early rounds of these tournaments, where she has only lost twice in her long career – against her sister Venus in 1998 in Australia and against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza at Roland Garros 2014.
The American legend will now face Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round Friday.
After the great celebrations Monday, the day of her debut, when Arthur Ashe Stadium prepared a mosaic reading “Serena,” the on-court atmosphere was tense for a match against Estonia’s Kontaveit.
The stands were full of celebrities such as golfer Tiger Woods, winner of 15 majors, or filmmaker Spike Lee, as well as Serena’s sister Venus.
Despite starting with some unforced errors, Serena moved better and dominated Kontaveit with her forehand, producing six early winners and five breakpoints which she failed to convert.
Supported on every point by the crowd, Serena took advantage of her sixth break point to take a 5-4 lead, but lost her serve, double faulting on the last point, and being forced into the tiebreak, which she won 7-4.
Kontaveit reacted immediately and broke Serena’s serve to love, racing away easily for a 3-0 lead which she converted into a 6-2 set, forcing a decider.
Serena found her competitiveness in the third set and trusted her serve, attacking Kontaveit after holding and going 2-0 following her third break point of the second game.
The public went as far as to boo Kontaveit, with Serena asking that they stop.
Serena had taken control, and despite giving up her serve in the third game, she produced a counter break to take a 4-1 lead which led to the decisive 6-2.
Serena is also playing the doubles competition with her sister Venus, with whom she has not played since 2018, having received an invitation from the tournament.
The last time Serena and Venus competed together was at Roland Garros in 2018, when they lost to Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sánchez and the Slovenian Andreja Klepac.
Serena and Venus have won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles together, including the 1999 and 2009 US Opens. EFE