US Open 2022: Organisers honour Serena Williams with a memorable tribute post Round 1 win
The 2022 US Open went underway on Monday. Serena Williams won her opening match against Danka Kovinić. Following the match, the organisers paid tribute to her career, as she retired after the tournament.
The US Open 2022 will be memorable and emotional for some, especially the fans from the United States of America (USA), as the nation’s legendary Serena Williams is playing her final tennis event, and she is all set to retire after this event. She is a 23-time Grand Slam champion, chasing her record-equalling 24th with Margaret Court of Australia, while the American is already the highest Slam winner across genders in the Open Era. She played her opening match of this edition against Danka Kovinic of Montenegro, winning in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, as she progresses to the second round, where she would be facing Anett Kontaveit of Estonia.
In the meantime, following Serena’s win, the US Open organisers paid tribute to the 40-year-old’s illustrious career. While the crowd roared at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, with a record opening night attendance of 29,402 fans, there were tributes from celebrities too, which included Beyoncé, Billie Jean King, Oprah Winfrey and Chris Evert.
Following the tribute, Serena said, “I always feel so comfortable on this court. I just want to do my best when I step on the court. The crowd was crazy. It helped pull me through. It’s been such a hard decision. Because when you’re passionate about something and love something so much, it’s hard to walk away. I was just like, all right, now’s the time. There are other chapters in life. It’s going to be Serena 2.0.”
During the event, Bille Jean said, “You are fearless. You touched our hearts to be our authentic selves, use our voices, and dream big. You taught us to use our voices -- and dream big. Especially for women and women of colour.” Evert told ESPN about her gameplay, “I haven’t seen Serena play like this in five years. I really haven’t.”