In her first match in what is expected to be her final tennis event, Serena Williams dominated on the court, bringing home a win in the first round of the U.S. Open against Danka Kovinic of Montenegro, 6-3, 6-3. Next up, the GOAT faces Anett Kontaveit of Estonia on Wednesday.
Earlier this month Williams wrote a first-person essay in Vogue announcing her plans to leave the world of competitive tennis and start the next chapter in her life after a storied career. The 23-time Grand Slam singles winner will celebrate her 41st birthday at the end of September and has said she would like to expand her family.
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Ticket sales skyrocketed for the U.S. Open after Williams announced her retirement plans as fans flocked to see the star play for her final time. The support from the crowd at the opening match was electric. Williams reported afterwards that she felt that energy and it helped her through the match.
Williams’s husband, Alexis Ohanian, and daughter, Olympia, watched eagerly from the stands. Also seated as guests in the player's box were Oracene Price, Williams's mother, and Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Others on hand to watch what could have been Williams's last singles match included former President Bill Clinton, Martina Navratilova, Mike Tyson, Matt Damon, Hugh Jackman, Queen Latifah, Lindsey Vonn, Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor and Coco Gauff, who played her own first-round match earlier in the day.
Follow along for more from the iconic superstar and changemaker.