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US Open: Serena Williams qualifies for second round


She last dance continues. Serena Williams qualified Monday August 29 for the second round of the US Open, which could be the last tournament of her phenomenal career, beating Montenegrin Danka Kovinic (80e world) in two sets: 6-3, 6-3. “I always do my best. And here I feel good. The public was crazy and really helped me, ”she commented before leaving the Arthur-Ashe court.

In the next round, the 40-year-old American with 23 grand slam titles, who now points to 605e rank of the WTA, will face world number two Anett Kontaveit. Driven by the public, including Mike Tyson, Martina Navratilova, Lindsey Vonn and Spike Lee, and relying on her powerful serve, the player considered the greatest in history has thus postponed the end of her career.

Because she announced in early August that she would soon retire. Nothing is official yet but the American Major, which she has won six times, looks like a good way out. “I’ve been pretty vague about that, haven’t I? I will stay because you never know, ”she nevertheless tempered in a press conference, a few moments after her victory.

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A deafening ovation on the Arthur-Ashe court

She served the first point of the match at 7:32 p.m. in New York (01:32 a.m. French time) in front of nearly 24,000 people on the Arthur-Ashe court, where she had won her very first Major in 1999. Her entry on the short was preceded by an animation with images of his New York hits projected on the giant screens, with a commentary repeating insistently « queen » (the Queen).

Once again announced as « the queen », she entered the court dressed in a sequined black outfit, her hair styled in a lioness mane, and caused a deafening ovation from the standing audience. In the stands, her daughter Olympia, dressed like her, and her husband Alexis Ohanian, founder of the social network Reddit.

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In front of an audience committed to his cause and even unsportsmanlike to the point of applauding his opponent’s faults, Williams managed the entry break to lead 2-0 in the first set. But Montenegrin won the next three games to lead 3-2. However, on two double faults, she let Williams back into the game. The American lined up three games to lead 5-3 and serve to win the first set. She saved four break points and completed the set with two aces and a service winner.

In the second set, she managed a first break to break away 3-2 then a last one on the last game of the game. Eliminated in the first round at Wimbledon where she had made a surprise return this summer after a year’s absence, Serena Williams offered herself an extra dance in New York.


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