The champion of 23 Majors advances in New York and lengthens her withdrawal
Serena Williams still has some gas left in her engine. The American, in an electric and farewell atmosphere at Flushing Meadows, won against Danka Kovinic (6-3 and 6-3) and advanced to the second round of the US Open, stretching her withdrawal for at least two more days.
The youngest of the Williams won her second match in a year and a half at the age of 40 and before an excited audience that reached 25,000 spectators at the Arthur Ashe Grand Slam in New York. Tickets reached thousands and thousands of euros for what could have been the last match of the Michigan woman's career, which dropped a few weeks ago that this US Open would be her last dance on the circuit.
«Going out on the track and seeing the ovation... It's something that surpasses you. It has been incredible and I have been able to feel it in my chest. It is a very nice feeling. I will never forget it. It means a lot to me," Serena explained.
In a tournament that she has won six times, the last one in 2014, Serena had no problem beating the world number 80 and raising her win counter in New York to 107. The 108 will look for her against Anett Kontaveit, second seeded tournament and a much harder nut to crack than his debut. The Estonian, winner of six WTA titles, is one of the best players on cement today, but at the US Open she has never made it past the third round.
Former President Bill Clinton and boxer Mike Tyson were some of the stars invited in the stands to witness what could have been the last of Serena's matches, as well as her daughter Olympia, who wore white necklaces in her hair like the ones used by his mother when he won the US Open for the first time in 1999
Bad day for the Spanish
The 'Armada' had no luck on the first day of competition in New York. Roberto Bautista gave the most negative surprise when he fell in his debut (6-4, 6-4 and 6-4) against the American JJ Wolf, number 87 in the ranking. The Castellón native, the first seeded eliminated, has never passed the round of 16 at the US Open.
Bernabé Zapata also fell, pushing Tommy Paul to the limit (4-6, 6-3, 2-6, 6-0 and 7-5), Nuria Parrizas, who was unable to beat the Hungarian Dalma Galfi (6-4 and 6-3), and Sara Sorribes, who lost to the Russian Viktoria Kuzmova (6-3 and 6-4).
They did advance in their debuts Alejandro Davidovich, who beat the Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka (6-3, 7-5 and 6-3) and Pablo Carreño, who won for the first time in his career the Austrian Dominic Thiem, champion here in 2020, by 7-5, 6-1, 5-7 and 6-3.
The big surprise of the day was given by the Colombian Daniel Elahi Galán when he eliminated the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (6-0, 6-1, 3-6 and 7-5). Tsitsipas, number five in the world, opted for number one in this US Open if he managed to win the tournament on September 11.
The current number one, Daniil Medvedev, did not suffer to premiere the defense of the title with victory and dispatched Stefan Kozlov 6-2, 6-4, 6-0.