- Serena Williams upset World No. 2 Anett Kontaveit within the second spherical of the 2022 US Open.
- The 23-time Grand Slam champ gained the primary set with a signature ace within the tiebreak.
- Williams informed Insider her understated response to the massive second was “quite simple: I wish to ace.”
NEW YORK — Serena Williams pulled off the seemingly not possible Wednesday evening.
Having performed solely a handful of matches within the run-up to the 2022 US Open, the 23-time Grand Slam champion bested World No. 2 Anett Kontaveit in a grueling second-round thriller beneath the intense lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The primary of the three units was far and away probably the most aggressive of the match, with the six-time singles champion at Flushing Meadows securing the victory in dramatic trend: a tiebreak.
Williams and the rising star from Estonia have been neck and neck via the primary a number of factors, however after “Let’s go Serena!” chants reverberated via the sector, Williams started to drag away.
As soon as the 40-year-old reached set level, the star-studded crowd almost 30,000 robust erupted and rose to its ft. She rewarded them with a Serena signature: a 91-mph ace that hardly nicked the outer fringe of the service field.
From the media seats within the second deck of Ashe, Williams appeared shocked by what she’d simply achieved.
She froze inside a yard of the baseline nicely after watching the untouched serve fly previous Kontaveit, then turned to stare at her field as if to ask her family members: “Is that this actually taking place?!”
However 24 years into Williams’ skilled tenure, we should always all know higher than to query her self-assurance.
As a substitute, the best champion tennis has ever identified mentioned she was merely relishing the second, standing agency in energy whereas celebrating the feat with clenched fists and silent depth.
“Quite simple: I wish to ace once I’m up set level or match level, or hit a winner,” Williams informed Insider throughout her post-match press convention. “I used to be like, sure, I like hitting aces on these kinds of factors.”
The household and shut pals in her field liked it, too.
Her husband — Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian — and mom have been joined by the likes of Anna Wintour and Tiger Woods, the latter of whom jumped to his ft and unleashed one among his signature fist pumps upon watching his buddy safe the set.
“He is one of many causes I am right here, one of many important causes I am nonetheless enjoying,” Williams mentioned after the match. “So we talked quite a bit. He was actually making an attempt to get me motivated.”
“When you possibly can depend on somebody like that, I imply, my goodness, he is Tiger Woods,” she added. “It was actually useful to get readability.”
—US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 1, 2022
Williams will return to the court docket for singles Friday in Flushing Meadows. With a 7 p.m. begin, she’ll as soon as once more play beneath the lights at Arthur Ashe as she faces World No. 46 Ajla Tomljanović.