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Serena Williams had the entire US Open crowd behind her as she entered the court for the first round of what will likely be the last Grand Slam tournament of her career.
And she had a classic night.
Williams dominated Danka Kovinić from Montenegro, in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 and showed that she’s still a force to be reckoned with when she hits some shorts with the incredible precision she’s displayed throughout her career.
The 40-year-old tennis legend had nine cases, winning 11 straight points and four straight games at one point. While Kovinić struggled throughout the game, Williams capitalized on her size and showed why she’s considered one of the best in the world, sprinting to return drop shots near the net and turning the ball to the side at every opportunity to ram her opponent.
Gayle King, who was on the court to introduce Williams to the mic, wondered if Williams really would stay in retirement since she looked like her old self.
“I always have to do my best. I feel so comfortable on this pitch and in front of everyone here. When I go out on the pitch I just want to do the best I can on that day.” she said. “That’s really all I can do.”
She had immense support from the crowd and Williams described the fans as “insane” and thanked them for their support.
Williams suggested that the US Open at Flushing Meadows in New York City would be her last tournament of her career as she evolved into a new phase in her career.
Williams will compete against the number 2 Anett Kontaveit, who also defeated Jaqueline Cristian in straight sets 6-3, 6-0 in the second round. The two will play each other on Wednesday.