Sep 1, 2022 - Sports

Serena Williams advances to third round of U.S. Open

serena williams
Photo: Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Serena Williams turns 41 later this month, she's hardly played any matches all year and her opponent Wednesday night was the No. 2 player in the world. But none of that mattered. Why?

"She's Serena. Anything is possible."
— ESPN's Chris Evert

What happened: Serena defeated No. 2 Anett Kontaveit, 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-2, in a three-set thriller to advance to the third round of the U.S. Open.

  • After Serena took the first set in a tiebreaker, Kontaveit roared back with a dominant second, showing just how good she can be when everything's going right.
  • Then, with the match on the line, the packed house at Arthur Ashe Stadium got what it paid for: vintage Serena.
"I've been following sports my whole life and one thing never changed: the aging, near-the-end superstar improbably thriving one more time is still the greatest thing to watch."
Bill Simmons

The big picture: In the lead-up to this last dance, as much as the romantic in all of us wanted to believe she could actually pull it off, the realist kept pushing back. But now? Why not?

  • Her next match is against unseeded Ajla Tomljanović. If Serena gets through her, another unseeded opponent would be the only thing between her and the quarterfinals.
  • The relative ease of her draw may not matter, though. She is, after all, Serena Williams, and the way she's playing right now could spell bad news for whomever is on the other side of the net.

P.S. ... She'll be back on the court Thursday with Venus (7pm ET, ESPN) as they begin their quest for a 15th Grand Slam doubles title, which would break a tie for second most in the Open Era (1968).

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