Serena Williams vs Danka Kovinic – US Open LIVE RESULTS: Serena wins in New York to book second round spot | The Sun

SERENA WILLIAMS made a winning start to her US Open farewell appearance as she delayed retirement for another few days.

The greatest female tennis player in history is planning to “evolve away from tennis” once she's done in New York this fortnight.

But any farewell celebrations were put hold after she beat world No 80 Danka Kovinic 6-3 6-3 in the first round on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Here's how the action unfolded…

  • Sunni Upal

    Verdict from courtside

    Here's Rob Maul's verdict from Arthur Ashe Stadium…

    SERENA WILLIAMS made a winning start to her US Open swansong appearance as she delayed retirement for another day.

    The greatest female tennis player in history is planning to “evolve away from tennis” and hang up the racket for good once she exits this tournament in New York.

    But any farewell celebrations were put hold after she beat world No.80 Danka Kovinic 6-3 6-3 in the first round on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

    .Credit: AP

    Former heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson and the 42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton were among the celebrities and dignities who made the trip to Queens to catch a glimpse of the Queen of Tennis in the 1,012th match of her illustrious career.

    This was not vintage Serena nor was it a classic – there 13 double faults and seven breaks of serve – but that will matter little to the thousands in attendance.

    It was no surprise that for this special occasion, Williams chose an appropriate outfit, one that befits someone who appears regularly on the front covers of Vogue and Elle magazine.

    Her long-term sponsors Nike commissioned a figure skating-inspired dress that was made of six layers – in recognition of her past six titles in the Big Apple.

    And having started her career in NYC with beads in her hair, the Californian is ending it with gems in her locks and 400 hand-set diamonds on her shoes.

    After an OTT opening ceremony that consisted of military personnel, a rendition of the US national anthem and a video montage of her career highlights, Williams strode out to an incredible reception.

    Fair to say this was no ordinary first-round clash and loud, brash New Yorkers – many who had paid top dollar for the privilege – were not afraid to voice their support or declaration of love for the former world No.1.

    .Credit: Reuters

    There was power and movement from Williams but the problem in the first set was her erratic serving – one minute there was a 100mph-plus ace, the next was a double fault.

    Luckily for the American, the bad serving was contagious and Kovinic could barely muster a service game without some form of error.

    When she eventually clinched the first set after close to an hour on court, Williams let out an enormous roar of delight.

    Given that she had been bageled by Emma Raducanu in her previous match on Tour, it was important for Williams that she did not fall behind to the Montenegrin.

    A break of serve in the fifth game of the second set proved key for Williams, who turns 41 next month, and she jigged on the spot in light when the victory was confirmed.

    For Kovinic this was a sixth defeat in a row on the WTA Tour and her ranking will continue to tumble.

    For Williams, another night under the floodlights awaits, this time against No.2 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia on Wednesday.

  • Sunni Upal

    What a night!

    It's not over yet on Ashe. There's going to be another presentation for Serena.

    She'll be back for round two on Wednesday. The way she served in that second set, I wouldn't count on that being her last match either.

  • Sunni Upal

    Serena Williams wins!

    It's over. Serena breaks to win 6-3 6-3.

    Her career isn't done yet. The dream of a 24th slam title is still alive.

    What a night on Ashe!

  • Sunni Upal

    Williams 6-3 5-3* Kovinic

    A hold to love! A raise of the hand as she hits a clean winner down the line off her backhand.

    A huge roar from the crowd and Serena is within one game.

  • Sunni Upal

    Williams 6-3 *4-3 Kovinic

    A cry of 'come on' as Kovinic hits a clean forehand winner.

    That's a really good hold and she still believes.

    Serena is going to have to earn this. Kovinic won't give it to her.

    .Credit: Alamy
  • Sunni Upal

    Williams 6-3 4-2* Kovinic

    From 15-30 down, Serena's serve comes through for her again when needed.

    She's just two games from victory now and Arthur Ashe Stadium can sense it.

  • Sunni Upal

    Williams 6-3 *3-2 Kovinic

    Some serious noise in Arthur Ashe Stadium…

    Because Serena has broken. She leads by a set and a break and is really in control now.

    Kovinic has been fighting an uphill battle on serve in this set and she's finally caved in.

  • Sunni Upal

    Williams 6-3 2-2* Kovinic

    Maybe the best game from Serena so far tonight.

    She's in a rhythm on serve now, pumping in some big ones and winning cheap points.

    Just one point dropped on serve in this set so far.

  • Sunni Upal

    Williams 6-3 *1-2 Kovinic

    Good hold from Kovinic, good work again from her.

    She continue to go quietly about her business and stay alive in this match.

    Even more impressive was that she ran off court for an outfit change and made it back in about 10 seconds before the umpire called time.

    Former President Bill ClintonCredit: Getty Images – Getty
  • Sunni Upal

    Williams 6-3 1-1* Kovinic

    The serve is starting to work for Serena now.

    Some brilliant serving, especially out wide means there's not much Kovinic can do.

    On serve to start the second set.

    .Credit: Reuters
  • Sunni Upal

    Williams 6-3 *0-1 Kovinic

    Some big moments early in the second set.

    Kovinic is forced to deuce and comes through some dicey moments to hold serve.

    A set and an early break really would've put Serena in command.

  • Sunni Upal

    Williams 6-3 Kovinic

    Game and first set!

    A huge noise erupts at Arthur Ashe Stadium – Serena Williams is one set up.

    It was a 10-minute game to finish it in which she had to save three break points.

    But the serve came up trumps when she needed it there.

    .Credit: AP
  • Sunni Upal

    Williams *5-3 Kovinic

    A break to love! 10 straight points for Serena and she is serving for the first set.

    That's three games in a row for Serena and a lot of it has just been a gift from Kovinic.

    .Credit: AFP
  • Sunni Upal

    Williams 4-3* Kovinic

    That's just the service game Serena needed.

    A quick hold with first serves hitting their spots.

    That allows her to dominate points and keep them short as well.

    .Credit: Reuters
  • Sunni Upal

    Williams *3-3 Kovinic

    And back and forth we go in this topsy turvy first set.

    Kovinic thought she held there when a ball from Serena seemed to be looping out but it just caught a piece of the line.

    And a double fault hands Serena the game to stop the rot.

  • Sunni Upal

    Williams 2-3* Kovinic

    A break of serve for Kovinic and a hushed silence around Ashe.

    Serena looked to get out of a bit of trouble with some big serves there, but her opponent kept coming back and got the job done.

    Worrying signs for Williams. That's three games in a row for the Montenegrin.

    .Credit: Getty Images – Getty
  • Sunni Upal

    Williams *2-2 Kovinic

    And we're level again on Ashe.

    A solid hold from the Montenegrin and she's handled this early adversity very well.

    Not many in here are cheering her on tonight.

    Former boxer Mike Tyson watches the actionCredit: Reuters
  • Sunni Upal

    Williams 2-1* Kovinic

    It's a break back, and we're back on serve.

    Williams is missing a lot of first serves and that's leading to pressure on her service games.

    Her forehand fails her on 30-40 as it drops into the net and Kovinic has an immediate break back.

  • Sunni Upal

    Williams *2-0 Kovinic

    Serena breaks after a brilliant rally – finishing it off with a drive forehand volley at the net.

    Kovinic didn't get enough height on that lob and she loses her opening serve.

    Good footwork from Serena and focus looking strong. She already looks a lot better than against Raducanu a fortnight ago in Cincinnati.

    .Credit: Reuters
  • Sunni Upal

    Williams 1-0* Kovinic

    That's quite a crowd roar after just winning the first game.

    Serena got out of a hole early on as two double faults led to two break points against her.

    But she holds and the crowd love it.

  • Sunni Upal

    Ready to go

    Warmups are done.

    Serena Williams will serve first and we're ready for PLAY!

    .Credit: Reuters
  • Sunni Upal

    Here she is

    Serena Williams emerges onto Arthur Ashe Stadium to an amazing reception after an intro video narrated by Queen Latifah.

    What a moment.

  • Sunni Upal


    A wonderful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at Arthur Ashe Stadium and we're ready to go now.

    The crowd is full and the players will be on their way in a matter of moments.


    Serena Williams walks off the practice courtCredit: AP
  • Sunni Upal

    One moment in time

    A bit of a Whitney Houston tribute as well with the singing of 'One Moment in Time'.

    The crowd is filling up nicely.

  • Sunni Upal


    The opening ceremony is underway on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

    And we have a tribute to Ukraine to kick us off.

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