US Open: Serena Williams advances, records historic win over Kovinic
Tennis legend Serena Williams proceeded to the second round at the US Open after beating Danka Kovinic on Monday. The 23-time Grand Slam champion, who is set to retire after the tournament, won in straight sets (6-3, 6-3). Williams has now won 107 matches at the US Open. Notably, she won the first of her majors 23 years ago in New York.
Why does this story matter?
- Veteran Serena Williams is set to retire from tennis.
- Williams, 40, announced her decision to retire following the 2022 US Open in the September edition of Vogue magazine.
- It will be a fitting farewell for her if she goes on to win the US Open.
- However, it will require a Herculean effort from her, something that she has done in the past.
Feats attained by Williams
As per WTA, Williams has become only the fourth woman in the Open Era to win matches as a teenager, and in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. Serena's sister Venus, Martina Navratilova, and Kimiko Date are the others. Williams is now 21-0 in the first round at the US Open, having dropped only two sets (versus Nicole Pratt, 1998 and Anca Barna, 2001).
Williams has won the US Open six times
As stated, Williams clinched the first of her 23 Grand Slam titles by winning the US Open in 1999. She now has a total of six US Open titles to her name (1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014), the joint-most with Chris Evert in the Open Era. By winning another, the former can have the joint-second-most US Open titles with Helen Wills (all-time list).
Monumental records of Williams (US Open)
Williams has won the US Open without losing a set thrice (2002, 2008, and 2014). She is one of two women to have won over 100 US Open matches, the other being Evert (101). Among active players, Venus Williams is behind Williams (107-14) in terms of match-wins (79). Williams has the second-most wins at a single major, only behind Martina Navratilova (120 at Wimbledon).
Most WTA titles on hard courts (Open Era)
Williams owns the most WTA titles on hard courts in the Open Era (48). No other woman has won even 40 titles. Steffi Graf follows Williams with 37 titles on this surface. Third-placed Chris Evert won 35.
Williams has played five matches this season
Earlier this month, Williams lost to Emma Raducanu at the Western and Southern Open. The former crashed out of the Canadian Open after facing a 2-6, 4-6 second-round defeat to Belinda Bencic. Prior to that, Williams lost to Harmony Tan at Wimbledon. Before 2022 Wimbledon, Williams last competed at the 2021 French Open where she lost to Elena Rybakina in the last-16 clash.
Williams to face Anett Kontaveit
Williams will face world number two Anett Kontaveit in the second round. The duo is yet to meet on the WTA tour. It remains to be seen if Williams, who eyes her 24th major title, could traverse another barrier.