Serena Williams is extending her farewell tour. She stunningly defeated No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit in Round 2 at the U.S. Open in front of 30,000 fans--including several big-name celebs--and advances to face Ajla Tomljanovic on Friday.
Serena Williams upsets No. 2 seed in Round 2 and advances
Serena Williams' farewell tour is far from over. She stunned the tennis world as she eliminated No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit in a hard-fought match to advance to Round 3 of the U.S. Open on Friday.
Williams had previously indicated this will be the last tournament of her legendary career. She is certainly making this year's U.S. Open tennis one fans will remember.
On paper, Williams, 40, was undeniably the underdog as she faced the No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit, 26, of Estonia.
On Wednesday night, Williams demonstrated why she was a 23-time Grand Slam champion and can never be counted out. She hit serves at up to 119 mph, hung in during lengthy exchanges and big baseline swings, and brought her magic when it was needed most.
The first set was hard-fought, ending in a dramatic tiebreaker that Williams won 7-6(4), Sporting News reported. Kontaveit took the second set 2-6. But Williams came on strong in the third set, taking it 6-2.
"It's no rush here [to leave]," Williams said after winning the match. "There's still a little left in me."
On Friday, Williams faces Ajla Tomljanovic, a 29-year-old Croatian-born Australian, who is currently ranked #46 by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), in a battle to advance to the fourth round.
Another star-studded crowd to watch Williams
The U.S. Open set another milestone for attendance on Wednesday with 29,959 fans entering the National Tennis Center, ESPN reported. The packed house was the second such record set in three evenings, breaking the previous high mark set on Monday with 29,402 in attendance.
Television viewing also hit a high in this year's U.S. Open, with an average of 2.7 million viewers tuning into ESPN on Monday – almost quadruple the comparable timeslot from 2021.
Numerous celebrities were in attendance on Monday, and Wednesday's match at Arthur Ashe Stadium brought the stars out as well, such as Tiger Woods, Steve Nash, Dionne Warwick, Anna Wintour, Zendaya, Spike Lee and his son, Gladys Knight, Seal, Chelsea Handler, and Anthony Anderson. Jeopardy champion Amy Schneider was also there. Tennis legend Billie Jean King was in attendance again. New York governor Kathy Hochul was also there to cheer for the players.