With tributes pouring in from around the world, there was an air of the last dance around the Arthur Ashe Stadium as Serena Williams stepped in for her match against Danka Kovinic. A montage of Williams’ career had been played before she appeared on court with the words loud and clear towards the end, “if you ever decide to return Queen your throne will be waiting”. The queen, it seems, may not have given up on her throne just yet.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 30, 2022
Serena Williams extinguished the talks of her retirement with a win in the first round of US Open. The 40-year-old had indicated her intention to retire in a Vogue article in early August, saying she was “evolving away from tennis”, all but confirming the U.S. Open as her final event.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) August 29, 2022
But it was after her win at the that the six time US Open champion signalled towards not yet moving away from Tennis.
“I’ve been pretty vague about it, right,” said Williams post-match on being asked about the number 1 question in the final grand slam tournament of the year. “I’m going to stay vague because you never know.”
Q. Will this definitively be your final tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I’ve been pretty vague about it, right (smiling)? I’m going to stay vague because you never know.
— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) August 30, 2022
There was of course a big response from the home crowd as Williams finished the game with a 6-3, 6-3 win, pushing back her expected retirement by at least a couple of days.
— Barbara Miller (@abcbarbm) August 30, 2022
Billie Jean King showing love to Serena Williams after her first round win at the U.S. Open 🥲 pic.twitter.com/437CTpEZbe
— MyBookie – Bet With The Best (@MyBookie) August 30, 2022
The 23-time Grand Slam winner will next face Anett Kontaveit of Estonia in the second round in New York.