She double-faulted extra than she would have liked. Her 25 unforced mistakes weren’t pretty

She performed long, grueling video games that, at one time in her singular career, can also have been over in a flash.

But Serena Williams will go away the U.S. Open, her last tournament, with one victory at least.

Feeding off the strength of a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium Monday night time in New York City, Williams exhibited masses of her signature fire—a fist pump here, a shout of “come on!” there.

The historic dominance used to be additionally on show: she gained the final eight factors of the healthy to take care of enterprise in opposition to her first spherical opponent, Danka Kovinic of Montenegro, 6-3, 6-3.

The notably hobbies early win possessed the power of a final, as all of her fits at this event likely will. After this closing Open run, Williams has introduced that she is taking walks away from tennis—and that consists of competing in doubles with her sister Venus.

Monday marked the second-highest single-day attendance in U.S. Open history, with a complete of 71,332 spectators for the blended day and nighttime sessions. The latter session, though, set an all-time,

opening night time attendance report of 29,402, with Williams the large draw. Fans held up placards studying “We ♥️ Serena” on all facets of the stadium.

“When I walked out, the reception was once certainly overwhelming. It was once loud and I should sense it in my chest,” stated Williams. “It’s a feeling I’ll in no way forget.”

After the match, Australians Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis had to wait for their duel to begin—one that Kyrgios would win in straight sets—as the U.S. Open threw a shock tribute for Williams on middle court.

Gayle King hosted. Oprah Winfrey narrated a video. Billie Jean King herself stated a few words, recalling the first time they met, in 1988, when Serena used to be six years old.

Her serve is by using a long way the most stunning serve in the records of our sport,” King said, to the pleasure of the crowd. “And bet what? You’re simply beginning!”