Serena rolls to the third round of the U.S. Open after beating the No. 2 seed Kontaveit

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Serena Williams, of the US, reacts after defeating Anett Kontaveit, of Estonia, throughout the second spherical of the U.S. Open tennis championships, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022, in New York. (AP Photograph/John Minchillo)


Serena Williams may now not be the No. 1 participant on the planet, however on the U.S. Open on Wednesday night time she was remembering how the very best within the enterprise struggle to win matches.

Williams, who at the moment ranks No. 605, was embroiled in a battle with No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, and rallied to a 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 6-2 win to advance to the third spherical.

Williams, who has despatched out indicators this U.S. Open is perhaps the final cease of her profession, appeared to have historical past on her facet Wednesday.

She got here into the match with a 74-2 successful file in second-round matches at Grand Slams. She misplaced the primary time to sister, Venus, within the 1998 Australian Open, after which to Garbine Muguruza of Spain within the 2014 French Open.

She additionally holds a powerful 47-15 file in opposition to high two-ranked opponents in her profession, successful 22 of her final 24 encounters

There’s no denying that Williams is the extra notable participant that Kontaveit — she is a 23-time Grand Slam champion with six of these titles coming right here in on the US Open.

This marks Williams’s twenty first journey to the U.S. Open — she received her first profession Grand Slam title right here over world No. 1 Martina Hingis in 1999. Total, that is the 81st Grand Slam event that she has performed.

However today, Williams is simply returning to the tour after a yr of nursing a knee harm, and is at the moment ranked No. 605 on the planet. The Kontaveit outing is simply her sixth match up to now 14 months — she solely received two of these matches, together with her first-round encounter Monday.

Kontaveit’s greatest Grand Slam profession end result was reaching the quarterfinals on the 2020 Australian Open.

Williams’s first-round victory over Danka Kovinic of Montenegro on Monday added one other historic element to her credentials.

She grew to become the fourth girl in historical past to win a U.S. Open match of their teenagers, twenties, thirties and forties. The opposite three gamers to attain that feat have been Serena’s sister, Venus, Martina Navratilova and Kimiko Date of Japan.

The Williams we noticed within the second-round on Wednesday night time was way more regular and expert than the jittery Williams within the first spherical on Monday.

Williams was poised to nail down the opening set when she broke Kontaveit’s serve at 30-40 within the ninth sport when Kontaveit made an unforced backhand error.

Sadly, Williams wasn’t capable of reap the benefits of her first alternative to safe the primary set within the Tenth sport. She made three unforced errors to fall behind 0-40, after which at 15-40 double-faulted the sport away.

Williams shrugged off the Tenth-game loss to win the first-set tiebreaker at 7-4, incomes the minibreak when Kontaveit plopped a backhand drop shot into the web on the eighth level.

Kontaveit appeared aggravated after dropping the opening set within the tiebreaker 7-6 (7-4), and stepped up her efficiency to even the rating by taking the second set 6-2.

Fellow Floridian Coco Gauff, the No. 12 seed, moved into the third spherical Wednesday with a 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) win over No. 101-ranked Elena Gabriela Ruse of Romania.

Gauff will subsequent play No. 20 seed Madison Keys, who grew up in close by Boca Raton, and at the moment lives in Orlando. Keys earned her third-round spot with a 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (10-6) victory over Camila Giorgi of Italy.

“ I believe the problem [against Keys] might be simply being aggressive,” Gauff mentioned. “I imply, she’s an aggressive participant, so I really feel like I must take my probabilities after I can.”

Andy Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion who for a few years maintained a residence in Miami, defeated American wild card Emilio Nava 5-7, 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 in his second-round match.

“My physique is responding properly to enjoying matches,” mentioned Murray, who was near retirement earlier than profitable hip resurfacing surgical procedure in January 2019.

“Right this moment I believe bodily I used to be stronger than him on the finish of the match, which is a very optimistic factor, clearly. My sport improved because the match went on.”


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