Serena strolls on in swansong

ARGUABLY tennis’ greatest ever player will have at least one more match left in her career, after 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams upset second seed Anett Kontaveit to book her place in the third round. The American star was not quite done with yet – having announced her retirement at the conclusion of the US Open – as she fought back from a disappointing second set to close out the Round of 64 match in three, 7-6 2-6 6-2.

In a match that lasted two hours and 27 minutes, Williams stepped up when in counted – following a grinding first set tiebreaker – to take out the Estonian and set up a third round clash with Australian, Ajla Tomljanovic. Williams served 11 aces and on 73 per cnet of her first serve points off a 64 per cent clip, whilst smashing 38 winners past Kontaveit. The second seed by comparison won 70 per cent of her first serve points off a 59 per cent clip, and hit 32 winners – including five aces – but 13 less unforced errors (27). In the end, just one point separated the players (101-100).

“It’s no rush here,” Williams said post-match. “I’m loving this crowd. “I’m a pretty good player. This is what I do. I love a challenge, and I’m rising to the challenge.

“I’m just pleased I showed up because the last few tournaments I didn’t show up,” Williams said. “But I’ve been practicing really well and I’m pleased that I’m finally seeing my practice come into my matches, so that’s nice.”

Williams said for the first time in a long time, she entered the tournament as a complete underdog and had “absolutely nothing to lose”, aiming to go as far as she could at Flushing Meadows.

“I don’t have anything to prove. I don’t have anything to win. I have absolutely nothing to lose,” she said. “Honestly, I never get to play like this since ’98 really. “Literally, I’ve had an X on my back since ’99. “It’s kind of fun. “I really enjoy just coming out and enjoying it. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to do that.”

Tomljanovic reached the third round coming back from a 3-5 deficit in the third set against Russian Eveniya Rodina to win the last four games of the match and salute 1-6 6-2 7-5. It was a pretty good day for the Americans, as seeded players Coco Gauff (12th), Madison Keys (20th), Alison Riske-Amritraj (29th) and Shelby Rogers (31st) all booked their spots in the third round. Along with Kontaveit, third seed Maria Sakkari exited the tournament after going down to China’s Xiyu Wang in three sets, leaving fifth seed Ons Jabeur as the highest ranked player in the bottom half of the draw.

In other results, past US Open winner Bianca Andreescu knocked off Brazilian 15th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia, with Russian Liudmila Samsonova defeating another Canadian in last year’s runner-up, Leylah Fernandez. Aleksandra Krunic came from behind to defeat one-time Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova, while China’s Shuai Zhang, Canada’s Rebecca Marino and Hungary’s Dalma Galfi also reached the next stage of the tournament.


Serena Williams (USA) defeated [2] Anett Kontaveit (EST) 7-6 2-6 6-2
Xiyu Wang (CHN) defeated [3] Maria Sakkari (GRE) 3-6 7-5 7-5
[5] Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated Elizabeth Mandlik (USA) 7-5 6-2
[12] Coco Gauff (USA) defeated Elena-Gabriela Ruse (ROU) 6-2 7-6
Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) defeated [14] Leylah Fernandez (CAN) 6-3 7-6
Bianca Andreescu (CAN) defeated [15] Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) 6-2 6-4
[17] Caroline Garcia (FRA) defeated Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) 6-3 6-1
[18] Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) defeated Maryna Zanevska (BEL) 6-2 6-3
[20] Madison Keys (USA) defeated Camila Giorgi (ITA) 6-4 5-7 7-6
Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) defeated [23] Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) 2-6 6-4 6-2
[29] Alison Riske-Amritraj (USA) defeated Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (COL) 6-4 6-7 7-6
[31] Shelby Rogers (USA) defeated Viktoria Kuzmova (SVK) 7-5 6-1
Shuai Zhang (CHN) defeated Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SK) 7-5 6-1
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) defeated Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) 1-6 6-2 7-5
Rebecca Marino (CAN) defeated Daria Snigur (UKR) 6-3 7-6
Dalma Galfi (HUN) defeated Harriet Dart (GBR) 6-4 6-0

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments