As the time is rapidly running out on her singles career, Serena Williams managed to focus and filter out the loud, supportive, celebrity-filled crowd to progress into the second round of the 2022 US Open. At the post-match press conference, the tennis legend decided to stay secretive when answering the question whether this is indeed her last tournament.
Playing the last US Open in her life, Serena Williams defeated Montenegro’s world No.80 Danka Kovinic 6-3 6-3 and improved her perfect record in the first round in Flushing Meadows to 21-0. In addition, the timeless athlete became only the fourth woman in the Open Era to win US Open matches in her teens, 20s, 30s and 40s.
The sold-out Arthur Ashe Stadium was ecstatic as the tennis legend entered the court in a long-sleeved Nike dress glittering like the New York sky at night. The 23-time Grand Slam champion could feel the overwhelming reception in her chest, the positive feeling she will never forget, so she felt the obligation to concentrate and play up to this support.
The 40-year-old Williams doesn’t see the end of her tennis career as a retirement, more as an evolution into the next phase of her life, which will still involve tennis in some way:
I don’t see myself not a part of tennis. I don’t know how I’m gonna be a part of tennis, as of right now, I just don’t know how, but I just feel we’ve come too far together to just not have anything to do with it.
Interestingly, when asked whether this US Open would definitely be her final tournament, Williams admitted that she’d been very vague about it and said:
I’m gonna stay vague, cause you never know.
Williams’ next obstacle will be big, second seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, but the American lives in the moment and doesn’t think yet about her upcoming opponent. The second-round match will be played on Wednesday.