Serena Williams vs. Danka Kovinic: US Tennis Open 2022 – live! | United States Tennis Open 2022

*Williams 3-3 Kovinić (* denotes next server)

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Will two straight unforced errors put a dent in Kovinić’s confidence? Maybe. At 15-30, Kovinić rips one of her best serves of the match and still loses the point, hanging a drop shot where Serena can easily hit the winner.

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Kovinić comes back, though, with an ace and a powerful winner to fight off two break points. The next serve nearly knocks the GOAT off her feet and leads to the best rally of the match thus far, with a nice mix of power and slices. Serena ends up sending it long and then sends another one long to give the game away … or not! Our technology shows us that maybe 1/4 of the ball caught the baseline. Deuce, and then a double fault.

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And that has rattled Kovinić, who double faults again and puts out her hands in exasperation. Serena breaks back, and you have to say that was a little lucky.

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… the coin toss. She’ll serve first.

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Danka Kovinić hails from Montenegro. She’s 27 years old. She’s ranked 80th in the world, down from a career-high of 46th … six years ago. She has no career singles titles. But this is her best year in the majors, reaching the third round in Australia and at Roland Garros.

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The strangest thing – despite her many years as a pro, she has never faced Serena Williams.

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This court could not be more appropriate for a pioneer like Serena. It’s Arthur Ashe Court, named after a barrier-breaking Black tennis player, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, named after the woman who launched women’s tennis to new heights.

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Serena has won this event six times. She has 23 major titles. That’s one short of the record held by Margaret Court, but any consideration that Court is ahead of Serena in the GOAT (Greatest of all Tennis, er, Time) conversation can’t be taken seriously. Serena (we’ll use the first name in part because she, like Madonna or Cher, is recognized best by that name and also because her sister, Venus Williams, is also in the stratosphere of the sport’s all-time best) has spent a couple of decades simply running people off the court.

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And yet … this championship has eluded her since she won her third straight in 2014. She melted down in 2018 against then-unheralded Naomi Osaka. She lost the next year to Bianca Andreescu.

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But great players have a way of putting together one more great run. Will this be it?

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Key events

*Williams 5-3 Kovinic (* indicates next server)

Kovinić opens on a double fault. Another fault ensues, and Serena destroys the second serve to go up 0-30. A rambling forehand in the next gives Serena three break points. She only needs one. Serena breaks up with love and Kovinić angrily sends a ball skyward.

Williams 4-3 Kovinic* (* indicates next server)

The highlight here is a lob from Kovinić that could have set off the radar at nearby JFK Airport. But Serena just gets rid of it. Another lob attempt goes far and Serena holds on to love.

Kovinić was an inch from a 4-2 lead. Now she is wavering.

Serena Williams shows her power.
Serena Williams shows her power. Photography: Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports

Summary

*Williams 3-3 Kovinic (* indicates next server)

Will back-to-back unforced errors shake Kovinić’s confidence? Maybe. At 15-30, Kovinić rips one of his best serves of the game and still loses the point, hooking a bunt where Serena can easily hit the winner.

Kovinić returns, however, with an ace and a mighty winner to fight off two break points. The next serve nearly knocks the goat down and leads to the best rally of the match so far, with a good mix of power and slices. Serena ends up sending it long and then sends another long to give the game… or not! Our technology shows us that maybe 1/4 of the ball has caught the baseline. Devil, then double fault.

And this rattled Kovinić, who doubled the fouls again and held out his hands in exasperation. Serena goes back, and you have to say, it was a bit of luck.

Williams 2-3 Kovinic* (* indicates next server)

The serve looks better at the start of this match, but another double fault puts Kovinić 15-30.

Serena gets the upper hand on the next rally but again misses her first serve, and Kovinić tees off on the second serve to win a short rally and earn another break point.

Then it gets better for Serena. She unleashes a cannon that Kovinić can barely touch, forcing the devil. Then it’s an ace on the midline.

Once again, however, Kovinić looks solid on Serena’s second serve, and she sees a lot of that. This time, perfectly placed cushioning takes us back to hell. On the next point, Serena gets to the net but flies badly. Another breaking point.

And then an unforced error. To break.

It doesn’t happen according to the script.

Meanwhile, Tsitsipas loses 0-6, 0-5.

*Williams 2-2 Kovinic (* indicates next server)

The crowd is eerily calm as Kovinić goes up 40-15. A clever cross shot from Serena wakes everyone up, but Serena throws one into the net on the next rally, and Kovinić holds.

Celebrity spotting gets weird. Bill Clinton – yes, the former president – sits with Dr. Ruth – yes, the sex therapist. Martina Navratilova sits with Mike Tyson and her dog.

How many other events could give us Mike Tyson sitting next to Martina Navratilova (and her dog)? pic.twitter.com/hGoqmFT71v

— J.A. Adande (@jadande) August 29, 2022

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Williams 2-1 Kovinic* (* indicates next server)

Serena’s serve isn’t quite there and Kovinić is more than capable of punishing a second serve. A flamboyant winner makes 30-30. Kovinić forces Serena into a bad position on the next rally and goes up 30-40. But an unforced error takes two.

And again, Serena struggles with this service. A double fault creates another break point, and Kovinić hangs on to convert this time.

Serena has as many double faults (4) as first serves. She’s 4 for 15 on first serves. She won those four points. Other than that, she’s 4 for 11.

*Williams 2-0 Kovinic (* indicates next server)

The Montenegrin challenger snatches a nice winning forehand, then continues the parade of double faults. An unforced error makes it 15-30, she finds her serve to come back up 40-30. Serena fights back with a drop shot almost as stylish as her outfit.

After winning another point, a wild exchange concludes the set. Serena rushes to reach a ball that fell off the net cord, then deftly returns both a hard drive and a lob to get the break.

Serena Williams warms up in front of a big screen welcoming her onto the court.
Serena Williams warms up in front of a big screen welcoming her onto the court. Photograph: Charles Krupa/AP

Williams 1-0 Kovinic* (* indicates next server)

Serena strips off her jacket, which surely costs more than a typical reporter’s entire wardrobe, and gets to work. His first serve looks solid, but Kovinić comes back well and forces a brief base rally before losing the point.

But then the nerves or rust catch up. Serena double faults once, sending one wide and one into the net. After a third fault in a row, she exhales deeply but doubles Again. A fifth consecutive foul follows. The next one comes in, but Serena shoots wide after a short rally to give Kovinić two break points.

And then the real Serena Williams reveal. A strong rally makes it 30-40. Then an ace. Then another.

She has some luck on the final point, with a shot slashing the top of the net cord and Kovinić missing a golden chance to bring the game back to two, dropping his return into the net.

Meanwhile, Colombia Daniel Elahi Galan won the first set 6-0 against the fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipaswho bowed nicely for the occasion with a double fault.

Serena won!

… the draw. She will serve first.

Serena is finally on the pitch. We think Danka Kovinić is there too.

Oh, here we go.

The biggest draw in the history of Tennis is taking place now. Or at least the only one with Spike Lee present.

“Is this the biggest first-round game we’ve ever seen on this ground?” request Chris Hockman on Twitter?

It is surely the only one that was preceded by a Ukrainian choir singing in two languages ​​in honor of Arthur Ashe.

I would complain more that we haven’t seen Serena on the pitch yet, but it’s an exciting performance. The crowd, rather than murmuring and waiting for the star of the evening, gives a nice roar before wrapping it up.

In typical American sports fashion, the match is actually not starting at 7 p.m. ET because we need to make a little more noise. Fans also keep showing up – Arthur Ashe Stadium is only half full. Serena’s matches often don’t last very long, so tell people to get their ice cream later.

Speaking of ice cream, it’s 81 degrees Fahrenheit with 68% humidity. But Serena, always the fashion icon, will wear a long-sleeved black outfit. For the shoes, we make a first Footwear News quote. She won’t wear diamonds on the soles of her shoes, which would match New Yorker Paul Simon’s song, but she will wear them elsewhere on her feet.

We are now receiving player presentations. Will it start before nightfall?

These sparkly shoes are what Serena Williams wore to practice.
These sparkly shoes are what Serena Williams wore practice. Photography: Elsa/Getty Images

Who is the adversary?

Danka Kovinic from Montenegro. She is 27 years old. She is ranked 80th in the world, down from a career high of 46th… six years ago. She has no career singles titles. But it’s her best year in majorsreaching the third round in Australia and Roland Garros.

The strangest thing – despite her many years as a professional, she has never faced Serena Williams.

Is this the first time photographers have flocked to a Danka Kovinić training session?
Is this the first time that photographers have flocked to a Danka Kovinic Training session? Photography: Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The place

This court couldn’t be more fitting for a trailblazer like Serena. It’s Arthur Ashe Court, named after a black tennis player who broke barriers, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, named after the woman who took women’s tennis to new heights.

Serena has won this event six times. She has 23 major titles. This is one less than the record held by Court of Margaret, but any consideration that Court is ahead of Serena in the GOAT (Greatest of all Tennis, uh, Time) conversation cannot be taken seriously. Serena (we’ll use the first name partly because she, like Madonna or Cher, is better known by that name and also because her sister, Venus Williamsis also in the stratosphere of the greatest sports of all time) spent a few decades just chasing people off the field.

And yet… this championship has eluded her since winning her third title in a row in 2014. She melted in 2018 against Naomi Osaka. She lost the following year against Bianca Andreescu.

But the big guys have a way of setting up another big run. Will this be it?

Good evening to everyone in the United States, good morning to those on the other side of the globe, and good afternoon to those in between.

Thank you for checking in for the United States match between the 10th seed Taylor Fritz and Brandon Holt. Fritz should have the advantage, of course, but… what? Oh that’s right.

Too bad Fritz, Holt and fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who will all be playing on the US Open showcase courts in a few minutes, but could just as well be playing in Guam. It’s the Serena Williams show, with good reason. Every match here could be the last time we see a one-of-a-kind player on her biggest stage.

Beau will be here shortly, with the game expected to start around 7:30 p.m. local time (9:30 a.m. AEST / 00:30 a.m. BST). In the meantime, here’s some pre-game reading:

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