Serena gives a show, knocks down world number 2 and remains strong at the US Open – 08/31/2022

Forty years old, coming from a performance where she was far from showing her best sneakers, and with retirement looming over her glittering tiara. Thats how Serena Williamsdisputing the last US Open your careerbeat the current number 2 in the ranking, Anett Kontaveit, 14 years younger, in a match that should not leave the memory of those who attended Arthur Ashe Stadium anytime soon. With a superb tie-break and top-notch tennis in the final stretch, the former world number 1 7/6(4), 2/6 and 6/2 and kept the flame of his career burning, advancing to the third round of the New York tournament.

Six-time US Open champion and, who knows, now a seven-time candidate, Serena will have on her way on Friday the winner of the match between Russian Evgeniya Rodina (unranked) and Australian Ajla Tomljanovic (#46).

How did it happen

When Kontaveit confirmed his service with ease, winning the first four points of the match, the silence in the Arthur Ashe Stadium indicated an audience prepared for the hypothesis of the defeat of the home tennis player. However, Serena soon fired an ace, waking up the dough and evening out the match. Both saved break points at the beginning of the partial, but the game leveled up even in the seventh game, when Serena and Kontaveit exchanged winners and game/break points. The world number 2 needed to save three break chances before confirming and making 4/3. It didn’t help much. Facing a fast Serena and making very few mistakes, the Estonian succumbed two games later when she missed a right and a left in a row.

The veteran opened 5/4, but when everything seemed in her favor, she made three unforced errors and, with a double fault, gave the break back and the tie. The decision came only in a balanced tie-break, in which both confirmed their service points until Kontaveit threw a short in the net. Serena then had the chance to serve on 5/4 and didn’t miss a beat. With a great serve in the middle, she reached the set point. With an open-one serve she ace-closed the end: 7/6 (4).

If Serena was perfect in the tie-break, Kontaveit was brilliant in the first games of the second half. Aggressive and precise, the Estonian broke Serena in the first and third games, opening 3/0. The home tennis player returned one of the breaks, but Kontaveit did not slow down, converted another break point and shot ahead until making 6/2 and forcing the third set.

When the decisive end began, the roles were reversed, and it was Serena who pressed first. In a second long game, Kontaveit even saved two break points, but missed a long right that gave the home tennis player the advantage. In the sequence, the former number 1 fired two aces and opened 40/0, ​​but allowed the opponent to recover and return the break. It was, however, the only mistake of the six-time champion in the final stretch. Serena broke Kontaveit again in the fourth game, confirmed her serve to open 4/1 and no longer opened the door to a reaction from the Estonian.

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