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    Serena Williams vs. Danka Kovinic – US Open: Live score and updates | Daily Mail Online

    The Big Apple came to bid farewell to Serena Williams – only to find that she is going to stay a while longer at the US Open.

    The 40-year-old American, gradually upping her level after a scratchy start, defeated Danka Kovinic of Montenegro to survive into the second round.

    Ratcheting up the quality and underpinned as ever by her serve, Williams delighted a huge crowd with a 6-3 6-3 victory in exactly 100 minutes.

    That earned her a match against second seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, who may be less forgiving and bring the curtain down on an epic career (although Williams will play doubles alongside sister Venus).

    With a post-match ceremony planned the immediate build-up was somewhat low key, amounting to a performance from a Ukrainian choir and a rendition of the national anthem.

    The crowd packed into the Arthur Ashe Stadium were eager to see the star of the show, with plentiful celebrities in the house. Bill Clinton, Spike Lee and Mike Tyson were among those in the house to witness what could be a watershed moment in the sport’s history.

    Williams came out to roaring acclaim wearing a spangled black tennis dress, and the question was how she would react to an occasion different to anything even she had ever known.

    Serena Williams beat Danka Kovinic in straight sets in the first round of the US Open Monday

    The tennis great delighted a packed crowd at the Arthur Ashe crowd at Flushing Meadow

    Ratcheting up the quality and underpinned as ever by her serve, Williams cruised to the win

    For all the freighting of this evening it was, after the formalities, a tennis match. Although she has clearly been rehearsing seriously and playing practice sets, there was still not much competitive court time to fall back on.

    Her family were out in force (although not father Richard). With her husband out of his seat to encourage her early on, there was no doubt she had not come to lose.

    Last time out in Cincinnati she was comfortably beaten by Emma Raducanu and the first few points were edgy as she faced two early break points.

    The victory in 100 minutes earned her a match against second seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia

    The American star came out to roaring acclaim wearing a spangled black Nike tennis dress

    Gradually she settled in against highly mobile opponent who has also played little tennis of late due to back problems around Wimbledon.

    Williams eased to a 2-0 lead but then the 27-year-old from Montenegro started to find her feet, and began to profit from the American’s misfiring forehand.

    Having recovered into a 3-2 lead Kovinic gave the game back through double faults. There were six from Kovinic in the first set to Williams’s five but the American’s serve was overall strong enough to hold on, and she saved eight break points in the opener.

    The second set heralded a distinct uplift in the caliber of the contest, with both players shedding some of the early inhibitions.

    Having recovered into a 3-2 lead Kovinic (above) gave the game back through double faults

    Williams breezed into a 2-0 lead but 27-year-old Kovinic began to find her feet and fight back 

    Williams warmed to her task and secured a break, reminding everyone of the awesome ball striking ability she possesses. A searing backhand pass took her to 5-3 and by now she was in overdrive, to the delight of the assembly.

    A final netted backhand from Kovinic brought a victory twirl from the great champion, who looked extremely formidable by the end. We will go through it again on Wednesday evening.

    Later there was a video tribute from Oprah Winfrey, with Williams addressing the crowd.

    ‘When you love something it’s hard to walk away but I think now is the time,’ she said. ‘I have a family, other chapters in life, I call it evolution. I really want to spend more time at home, it’s like Serena 2.0’.

    A final netted backhand from Kovinic allowed Williams to book her spot in the second round

    Billie Jean King led the tributes to the great in a ceremony celebrating Williams’ career 

    Relive all the action from the US Open clash between Serena Williams and Danka Kovinic with Sportsmail’s live blog from ISABEL BALDWIN. 

    Goodnight!

    That’s all from us tonight and what a night it has been! Arthur Ashe will not see many like that again. 

    Serena Williams’ US Open journey – and illustrious career – continues as she looks for one more Grand Slam before she ‘evolves away’ from tennis. 

    We will be back Wednesday to follow her clash against Kontaveit, don’t miss it!

    The Last Dance isn’t over yet

    Serena Williams will continue her US Open journey with a second-round clash against Estonian second seed Anett Kontaveit on Wednesday. 

    02:41
    ‘Serena 2.0’: Williams addresses the crowd

    It’s now Williams’ turn to address the crowd as she insists she is ready for ‘Serena 2.0.’

    ‘I’ve been down and out so many times. You just never give up. No matter what you’re going through. I just want people to be inspired by my story,’ she says.

    ‘It’s like Serena 2.0’ she adds on what life after tennis will look like.

    02:35
    ‘You’re just beginning’: Billie Jean King pays tribute to Serena

    American former world number one Billie Jean King is welcomed on to pay tribute to Serena Williams on Arthur Ashe.

    She recalls the first time she met Serena – and first caught a glimpse of her serve.

    ‘Don’t change a thing’ was her advice to a young Serena that day.

    ‘Thank you for sharing your journey with every single one of us,’ Billie Jean King adds. ‘You’re just beginning.’

    ‘Keep that serve going GOAT’
    Celebrating with a twirl – in typical Serena style!

    Williams celebrated the win with a little jog before meeting her opponent at the net where the two enjoyed a warm chat. 

    She then waved to the crowd and made a little heart sign as she continued celebrating. 

    But tonight’s events are not quite over yet as a tribute to the legend is underway to celebrate her career – even though it’s not quite over!

    02:12
    SERENA WINS! Danka Kovinic* vs Serena Williams 3- 6 (3-6)

    And Williams’ swansong will have to wait!

    The great is not quite ready to bring the curtain down on her career. 

    Kovinic is clearly running out of steam as a double fault in followed by an unforced error to put Williams 0-30 up.

    Kovinic then nets on the forehand. Three match points. 

    But she only needs one! Kovinic nets yet again, this time with the backhand.

    02:10
    Danka Kovinic vs Serena William* 3-5 (3-6)

    Unstoppable. Serena is proving why she walked on to court as the ‘Greatest of All Time’

    She positively thunders through a hold to love.

    One game to go. The second round is in sight. 

    02:08
    Danka Kovinic* vs Serena Williams 3-4 (3-6)

    Kovinic just won’t quit. Serena puts up a solid challenge as she searches for the double break but Kovinic just hangs on for the hold.

    She rattles up to 40-15 before Williams manages to get it back to 40-30. In the end it’s a straightforward hold for the Montenegrin and she’s still alive. 

    Still, it’s Williams with the lead and she heads into her serve just two games away from the second round. 

    02:03
    Danka Kovinic vs Serena Williams* 2-4 (3-6)

    A gripping rally ensues as Williams and Kovinic look to outdo one another with a series of near-impossible shots to keep the ball in play but ultimately the American can’t quite keep one in play. 15-30 on Williams’ serve. 

    But back-to-back aces brings it back to 40-15 for the American and a powerful forehand down the line wraps up the serve for a 4-2 lead in the second set. 

    01:59
    SERENA BREAKS! Danka Kovinic* vs Serena Williams 2-3 (3-6)

    Williams edges ahead for the first time in the second set and she looks unstoppable now.

    She brings up two set points after catching the baseline with a sweet groundstroke followed by an excellent backhand winner. 

    Ultimately it’s a miss from Kovacic, who looks to be tiring, that wraps up the game and sees Williams take the set lead.

    Serena Williams serving up a thriller for a packed Arthur Ashe
    01:53
    Danka Kovinic vs Serena Williams* 2-2 (3-6)

    Feels like the Montenegrin is very much clinging on now. After only just managing to hold in her previous serve she offers no challenge to Serena on the American’s serve. 

    Williams absolute dominates as she races through a hold to love. 

    01:51
    Danka Kovinic* vs Serena Williams 2-1 (3-6)

    Two break points for Williams with a smashing forehand volley.

    Kovinic saves the first with an ace before clawing it back to deuce after good depth and power from the Montenegrin forces Williams into netting. 

    Williams then nets on the return to gift advantage to Kovinic. But the Montenegrin wastes the chance to wrap up the hold as she fires a backhand long and wide. 

    There’s another chance for Kovinic to walkaway unscathed with the hold. This time she makes no mistake sealing the hold with an ace. 

    01:43
    Danka Kovinic vs Serena Williams* 1-1 (3-6)

    Williams rattles through her serve to 40-15 after Kovinic blinks first mid rally firing a backhand long. 

    The American seals the hold with an ace. 

    01:39
    Danka Kovinic* vs Serena Williams 1-0 (3-6)

    Not the start to the second set Kovinic would have wanted after losing the first as Williams swiftly brings up break point.

    An incredible rally ends with a thunderous cross-court forehand from Kovinic which is out of reach of Williams and the American can only applaud Deuce. 

    The Montenegrin finds herself in trouble again as Williams brings up advantage and break point but she saves it by powering down the line. 

    Williams tries a neat little shot at the net but can’t get it over. Kovinic holds and crisis averted. 

    01:30
    SERENA TAKES THE FIRST SET! Danka Kovinic vs Serena Williams* 3-6

    Kovinic has a sniff at a break after Williams falters with a forehand to hand break point to her opponent. 

    Williams rescues the break with a powerful knock down the line. She follows it with a great serves but Kovinic matches it with an even better return and it’s another break point for Kovinic. 

    But Williams fends her off again as the Montenegrin nets and the American then draws a roar from the crowd as she forces an error from her opponent for set point.

    It’s to no avail however as Kovinic keeps battling. She manages to wrestle control of an enthralling rally and Williams can’t land an attempted lob inside the lines, but the American responds as she must on break point.

    Another chance for Kovinic comes around but this one is extinguished with an ace and Williams FINALLY wraps up the game and set when Kovinic nets a forehand return. 

    01:21
    SERENA BREAKS AGAIN! Danka Kovinic* vs Serena Williams 3-5

    Now this is more like it! This is the Serena we know and love as the momentum swings in her favor. 

    Kovinic opens with a double fault, has the adrenaline worn off? 

    Eight straight points becomes nine for Serena and more importantly brings up break point. 

    Kovinic is clearly frustrated as eh fires a ball into the air after missing a forehand to fall to the break. 

    Danka Kovinic vs Serena Williams* 3-4

    Rapid hold for Serena! She oozes confidence as she rattles through her serve to hold to love. 

    She edges ahead and it’s safe to say the Arhur Ashe crowd enjoyed that one…

    Danka Kovinic vs Serena Williams 3-3

    After 40 minutes and six games it’s level. It’s going to be a tense one…

    01:13
    SERENA BREAKS BACK! Danka Kovinic* vs Serena Williams 3-3

    Serena isn’t going down without a fight and responds immediately to the break. 

    She powers a forehand past Kovinic to rattle up to 15-40 on the Montenegrin’s serve. 

    Break point for the crowd favorite and it’s looks to be within Williams’ reach after Kovinic faults on the first serve. 

    But Kovinic fights back, sending a huge forehand winner out of reach. Deuce. 

    It’s too powerful from Serena this time as she overhits a during a tense rally to hand the advantage to Kovinic. 

    A terrific return from Kovinic’s serve is called in. Kovinic challenges it and it’s a tight one but it’s just in. Close one, but back to deuce. 

    Double fault! Kovinic’s run ends with a costly lapse on concentration. 

    Kovinic knows she has just thrown away a chance to pull ahead of the legend and she shakes her head. 

    01:04
    KOVINIC BREAKS! Danka Kovinic vs Serena Williams* 3-2

    Yet another double fault from Williams – her fifth in three service games – leaves her 15-30 down.

    But she pounds an overhead volley down the line from a high return from Kovicic and sends the crowd wild. 

    She nets again for the first break point for Kovinic but huge first serve followed by an ace and it’s advantage for Serena. 

    Out of nowhere Kovinic hits an excellent drop shot out of Serena’s reach and claws it back to deuce. 

    Kovinic now with the advantage now after a forehand pass. Can she really silence the Arthur Ashe crowd?

    Yes she can! 

    00:57
    Danka Kovinic* vs Serena Williams 2-2

    Kovinic quickly rattles up to 40-15 with some aggressive play. She is doing her best to keep the crowd quiet. 

    Williams once again can’t quite keep up with the powerful hitting from the Montenegrin and blinks first in a rally, netting yet again to hand the hold to Kovinic.

    The underdog levels the first set. 

    Danka Kovinic vs Serena Williams* 1-2

    Williams fails to follow up her break with a hold!

    Kovinic gets to break point as a great hustle to get the ball back in play sees Williams net.

    But Williams claws it back to deuce after a tense rally sees the Montenegrin blink first and send one long. 

    A double fault from the American star hands her opponent advantage and a second break which Kovinic snatches when Williams nets again. 

    Back on serve…

    SERENA BREAKS! Danka Kovinic* vs Serena Williams 0-2

    The Arthur Ashe crowd are in raptures!

    Kovinic is dealing with the pressure well as she reaches game point but a thrilling rally ends with her looping a forehand wide. Deuce.

    A double fault from the Montenegrin hands Williams the advantage and she pounces on it as she races forward to pick up a short ball and stands her ground at the net to put away a drive forehand. 

    The atmosphere is electric!

    00:39
    Danka Kovinic vs Serena Williams* 0-1

    Williams follows up the first point with two double faults and then it’s two break points to the underdog. 

    But Williams is handed a lifeline as Kovinic fires a return into the net to allow Serena to claw it back to 40-30. One break point saved, one to go. 

    Williams rises to the challenge with an ace to save the second. Deuce. 

    It’s advantage Serena and Kovinic fires another into the net to seal the set for Williams. She holds after a shaky start.

    Danka Kovinic vs Serena Williams*

    And we’re underway!

    It’s the tennis legend to serve first and she gets off to a dream start with the first point of the match. 

    All the glitz and glam! Serena makes her way out in her dazlling Nike look topped off with sparkles in her hair… and mini me Olympia is twinning in a matching outfit!
    00:25
    Here we go!

    Serena has just been announced as the Great of All Time as she made her way to the court to the cheers and applause of a raucous crowd. 

    They were treated to a video tribute of her greatest US Open moments narrated by Queen Latifah before she made her way out in her glittery outfit. 

    You have to feel a bit for Danka Kovinic who made a slightly more subdued entrance…

    Buckle in, here we go…

    Star-studded audience: The celebs have turned out to support the GOAT

    Rebel Wilson, Gayle King, Vera Wang, Anna Wintour and Lindsey Vonn are all in the house!

    00:19

    The Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York have just sung Whitney Houston’s classic ‘One Moment in time’, before actress and singer Anika Noni Rose comes out to sing the National Anthem. 

    00:17
    No. 1 fans and mini me in the house! Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian and daughter Alexis Olympia are in the stands to cheer her on
    00:13
    Anticipation builds as the action draws closer

    The crowd – and the anticipation – is building inside the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

    USTA chairman Mike McNulty is giving an opening presentation ahead of the action. 

    23:51
    Serena Williams ‘is the BIGGEST force’ in tennis, claims Naomi Osaka as four-time Grand Slam winner pays tribute

    Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka sung Serena Williams’ praises ahead of the tournament as she credited the American star for her own success in the sport.

    ‘I think that her legacy is really wide to the point where you can’t even describe it in words,’ Osaka said Sunday in a pre-US Open press conference.

    ‘She changed the sport so much. She’s introduced people that have never heard of tennis into the sport. 

    ‘And I think I’m a product of what she’s done. I wouldn’t be here without Serena, Venus, you know, her whole family.

    ‘I’m, like, very thankful to her and I am always trying to figure out how to sum it into words but I honestly think that she is like the biggest force in the sport.’

    MORE BELOW.
    Naomi Osaka has credited Serena Williams with her metamorphosis into a tennis player and four-time Grand Slam winner. The Japanese, conveyed the indescribable impact Williams had on her life.
    LOOK: The Queen has arrived! Serena Williams makes her way to the practice court

    .@serenawilliams has arrived and is warming up! ♨️ pic.twitter.com/TcutsVgN9y

    — ESPN (@espn)

    WATCH: Serena Williams was putting in the work last week ahead of tonight’s showdown

    The queen and her court.

    Serena Williams was putting in WORK this morning in Ashe. pic.twitter.com/yC45wMUqJ2

    — US Open Tennis (@usopen)

    Serena sends prices rocketing! Average secondary market list price is up 68% to a massive $512

    It’s #USOpen week and prices keep going up! Average secondary market list price is up to $512 now, which is 68% more than when #SerenaWilliams announced her retirement. Save on HUGE fees now to see Serena TONIGHT. #tickets #nofees
    .
    TICKETIQ APP 👉 https://t.co/7HfJaKMWsm pic.twitter.com/G4CWvLC3cd

    — TicketIQ (@Ticket_IQ)

    A good day for the women of the USA… can Serena back it up?

    Both Coco Gauff and Madison Keys reached the second round with victories on Monday. 

    Gauff came out on top 6-2, 6-3 against Leolia Jeanjean to get her Grand Slam campaign at Flushing Meadows off the mark.

    Gauff put on a dominant display at Arthur Ashe, and it was in large part due to her serving prowess.

    Keys had a nervy start to her campaign narrowly clinching the first set against Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska in a tiebreaker before booking her place in the next round by winning the second set 6-3.

    Over to you Serena…

    Even Queen B bows down! Serena Williams is celebrated in a new commercial narrated by Beyonce ahead of tennis star’s US Open swansong

    Superstars Serena Williams and Beyonce have teamed up in a new commercial to celebrate the 23-time Grand Slam winner.

    Ahead of her swansong, American beverage company Gatorade released an advert paying tribute to Williams. The commercial, narrated by friend Beyonce, was revealed at the MTV VMAs last night.

    Serena Williams will be back in action alongside sister Venus for the first time in four years at the US Open after getting wildcard

    For those missing out on a coveted seat on Arthur Ashe this evening, fear not as Serena will be back in action before you know it. 

    She is paring up with sister Venus in the doubles event for the first time in four years. 

    Serena, who turns 41 next month, and Venus, who turned 42 in June, have won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles together. That includes two championships at Flushing Meadows, in 1999 and 2009.

    World No.1 Iga Swiatek pays tribute to Williams as she congratulates the great on her amazing journey and legendary career

    🤩So…this is the highlight of my day.
    Congratulations on your amazing journey and legendary career @serenawilliams. Huge respect for everything that you have done for our sport. pic.twitter.com/GoDRmnCO4D

    — Iga Świątek (@iga_swiatek)

    22:45
    BREAKING NEWS: Williams has a star-studded guest list this evening with the likes of Hugh Jackman and Queen Latifah set to turn out for the star

    The stars are heading to Arthur Ashe tonight in celebration of the tennis great!

    Hugh Jackman, Mike Tyson, Lindsey Vonn, Galdys Knight, Anna Wintour, Spike Lee, Queen Latifah, Bill Clinton, Zach Wilson, Rebel Wilson, Vera Wang, Anthony Anderson and more will be in attendance, according to the Tennis Channel’s Steve Weissman

    Williams will around 100 guests on hand, comprising of family and friends, to watch her in action before the US Open’s farewell ceremony for the six-time winner. 

    22:41
    Going out in style! Williams will wear a diamond-encrusted Nike look with matching sneakers

    As she prepares to play the final tournament of her illustrious career, Nike has provided a sneak peak at tennis star Serena Williams’ look for the US Open, which fittingly pays homage to her previous six victories at the Grand Slam. 

    Williams is known for her bold fashion statements on court at Flushing Meadow from the denim mini-skirt as the 2004 US Open to her Nike black catsuit at Roland Garros in 2018.

    And her potential finale in New York will be no different as Nike has revealed the latest look for the 40-year-old.

    READ MORE ABOUT THE GLITTERING OUTFIT BELOW. 
    The 23-time Grand Slam champion us expected to retire following the US Open and her potential swansong could take place Monday night when she faces Danka Kovinic on Arthur Ashe.
    MIKE DICKSON: Serena Williams is set for one final US Open appearance as she prepares for possibly the last singles match of her extraordinary career at Flushing Meadows… but she should overcome opponent Danka Kovinic

    Spectacular awaits are the words accompanying the giant picture of Serena Williams which currently lights up Times Square.

    We will see if that proves the case when the American lines up at Flushing Meadows for what might be the last singles match of an extraordinary career.

    Williams has signalled that, just shy of her 41st birthday, her time is up after 23 Grand Slam titles and enough drama to have filled anyone’s lifetime.

    Those packing out the Arthur Ashe Stadium might not, however, witness a defining moment in tennis history.

    READ MORE FROM DAILY MAIL’S MIKE DICKSON BELOW.

    MIKE DICKSON IN NEW YORK: There are few less intimidating draws that Williams could have got than Danka Kovinic, of Montenegro, and she may well live to fight another night.
    Where it all began! Revisit 17-year-old Serena Williams’ first ever Grand Slam at the US Open back in 1999

    The 1999 US Open was the moment it all began for Serena Williams.

    We’re not crying, you’re crying. 😭@Cadillac Iconic Moments | #USOpen pic.twitter.com/V9bVG1sEwm

    — US Open Tennis (@usopen)

    22:19
    Her first Grand Slam as a 17-year-old in 1999, a victory over her SISTER in the 2002 final, and making history in 2016: A look back at Serena Williams’ SIX US Open titles

    After 26 years in professional tennis, Serena Williams has one last tournament awaiting her. 

    A final opportunity to further enshrine the Williams name into the tapestry of tennis in her homeland and around the world. 

    Unmistakably, Serena is going out on her terms. The 40-year-old announced in Vogue that she will retire from tennis and immerse herself in a life beyond the sport. 

    Sure, Williams’ retirement has loomed over the sport for several years but now that it has arrived, many won’t want to say goodbye. 

    Here Dailymail.com takes a trip down memory lane, looking back at Serena’s six successes on the hardcourts of Flushing Meadows. 

    After 26 years in professional tennis, Serena Williams has one last tournament awaiting her. Here Dailymail.com looks back at Serena’s six successes at Flushing Meadows.
    Serena has left the building! Williams is spotted leaving her hotel to head to Flushing Meadow ahead of tonight’s blockbuster match
    22:05
    Good evening!

    Good evening and welcome to DailyMail.com’s Live Blog of Serena Williams’ US Open clash against Danka Kovinic. 

    Arthur Ashe plays host to a potentially momentous occasion this evening as the tennis great could play her last ever singles match at her home major.

    The 23-time Grand Slam champion is expected to retire following the tournament after announcing she is ‘evolving away’ from tennis and if she loses, she will bring the curtain down on a glittering career. 

    Win or lose, the US Open will pay tribute to the 40-year-old with a farewell ceremony Monday night in front of a 23,800 sell-out crowd.

    Serena Williams vs. Danka Kovinic – US Open: Live score and updates

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