New York | Even the best stories end. But the final chapter of the Serena Williams legend has yet to be written.
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The greatest tennis champion will continue to play at least one match at the US Open, after defeating world number two Anett Kontaveit, 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6 after a bitter .2 battle, Wednesday night.
“I’m a very good player! Serena laughed on the court when Mary Jo Fernandez asked her about her victory over the second seed. That’s what I do best. I love challenges. My level doesn’t surprise me.”
In what was likely to be the last match of her unparalleled career, Serena entered the field to thunderous applause from the crowd, dressed similarly as in her first match.
The 23 title winner wore her black, snowboard-inspired, diamond-encrusted dress that sparkled like New York nights. Like her hair and shoes that were seen shining even on the heights of the world’s largest tennis court.
Because Serena Williams isn’t just a tennis icon. She’s also a style icon, and she obviously wants to stay that way until the end.
Tiger and expensive tickets
Arthur-Ashe was then half full, but you can already spot familiar faces in the crowd, like golfer Tiger Woods, a good friend of the hero.
Her sister Venus, former figure skater Lindsey Vonn, is the magazine’s editor-in-chief Vogue magazine Anna Wintour and actress Zendaya took their place in the huge arena.
Gradually they were joined by 24,000 spectators expected this evening with historic potential. They paid dearly for their tickets. A few minutes before the meeting started, some were still available, but they retailed for at least $345 each.
Other fans watched the match closely around the stadium, where you can hear it too Let’s go Serena! “.
Serena is more relaxed
Clearly more relaxed than she was in Toronto or Cincinnati, the former world number one gave up her hits during the first set.
His stunts – many of them during this tour – have been well received by fans. Like the errors of Kontaveit, who became, for one night, Public Enemy No. 1.
Encouragement was coming from everywhere. Especially when the American offered herself to the break point of the Estonian.
At times, it seemed like time had frozen as well. Not yet 40, Williams has dictated the game as it was in her best years. Missing her hits dampened her as in her most dominant seasons.
The legend even offered himself a chance to serve in the first set, but Kontaveit denied this.
But Serena bounced back in the tiebreak, sealing the ace’s innings, in a scenario that tennis fans have seen so much over the past two decades.
Kontaveit finds the key
However, the world number two quickly rebounded. The Estonian found the key: it was necessary to move the hero. She had to move it from right to left.
Because with so much tennis in the body, it’s Williams’ moves in particular that have been missing for a few years. Especially since that year-long forced fracture, as a result of the leg injury she sustained at Wimbledon, in 2021.
With the help of this strategy, Kontaveit easily forced a final round.
But, amid the jubilant crowd, younger Williams resumed her good habits in the third set.
The American began to dominate the exchanges again. Including one of the 19 points she easily won by diversifying the game.
And this time, Serena won’t even have to serve in the match. It was her rival who offered her victory on a silver platter, which at the same time allowed her to continue writing her legend.
As was the case on Monday, a video narrated by rapper Queen Latifah praised ” queen Queen’s” (Queen’s), presented before the match.
The winner was also honored by Oprah Winfrey after the traditional network handshake. Williams will now return to the field on Friday against Australian Agla Tomljanovic, 46e Globalism.
“I love this crowd. It’s unbelievable. It’s all really exciting. Serena rejoiced, smiling, I have nothing else to prove, nothing more to gain, but also nothing to lose.”
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