The farewell tour will go on for at least another match as Serena Williams booked her spot in the second round of the US Open with a 6-3 6-3 win over Danka Kovinic.
There was an electric atmosphere inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, the capacity crowd was fully engaged from the very first point, unlike any other first round match.
Williams made a concerning start, particularly on serve where she hit quicky racked up five double faults. The 6-time former US Open champion steadily improved form 2-3 down in the first set, reeling off four straight games to take control of the match.
Williams looked much more comfortable in the second set; all aspects of her game improved as the match went on. Most encouragingly was the improvement in her serve which started to look the famous serve of old. Williams’ movement, as well, was on point. There were times when viewers could almost forget that the 23-time Grand Slam champion is 40 years old.
There was not much drama within the match once Williams found her rhythm. Kovinic wasn’t great on serve, but there was nothing she could have done anyway against the way the American was playing. In front of a packed house, all hoping Williams advanced to play another day, Serena found her form and put her opponent away.
A much tougher test awaits on Wednesday. Next up for the 23-time major champion is a second round meeting with World No. 2 Anett Kontaveit. It will be the first time the pair have gone head-to-head, adding to the drama of the occasion.
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