US Open 2022: Serena Williams wins the first round match and meets Anett Kontaveit, the number 2

Serena Williams didn’t contest her last US Open match. Before an electrifying crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Williams defeated Danka Kovinic 6-3, 6-3.

Williams got off to a somewhat slow start with a couple of double faults that injured her in the opener. However, she was able to fight back and shake off the initial nervousness to win 6-3 as Kovinic had some issues of his own.

Williams found more rhythm with her serve in the second set. As the second set progressed, Williams seemed to gain more and more confidence and Kovinic completely lost control of the game. Williams drove that momentum to another 6-3 win to win the match and advance.

Now in her US Open career, Williams is 99-3 if she wins the first set and her dominance of the tournament doesn’t stop there. With a semifinal appearance in her last 11 appearances at Flushing Meadows, Williams has plenty of experience on her side.

Not only that, but if that first-round matchup is any indication, all participants in the tournament are behind her. Arthur Ashe Stadium exploded as Williams stepped onto the pitch, and it erupted in thunderous applause with every point she won.

After the match, Williams spoke to CBS Mornings’ Gayle King on the court about what fan support meant to her.

“The crowd went crazy,” Williams said. “It really helped me get through it. I was really excited. I thought, ‘Yeah, I get that.’”

Williams also spoke about her decision to step away from tennis and move on to other “chapters” of her life. It wasn’t easy, but Williams felt now was the best time to move on to other things.

“It was a very difficult decision because when you love something so much and you’re passionate about something, it’s always hard to walk away,” Williams said. “Sometimes I think walking away is harder than not. That was the case with me. I’ve been trying to decide what to do for a while. It keeps you fit. That’s a bonus. Okay, I think now is the time.’ I have a family. There are other chapters in life. I call it evolution.”

In addition to her seventh US Open women’s singles title, Williams will also play doubles with her sister Venus. Williams is really looking forward to that.

“We open everything here, at least for me. I can’t speak for my sister. It will be so much fun playing doubles with her. It’s going crazy. It’s been a long time since we’ve done it and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Williams now meets Anett Kontaveit in the second round. Kontaveit defeated Jaqueline Cristian in straight sets in their first match of the tournament.

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