Now that the draws for the US Open have been released, we’ll see who will be Serena Williams’ first opponent in what could very well be her very last tournament.
Serena Williams will face Danka Kovinic in the first game of the US Open
Having already stated that this will be her last US Open and quite possibly the last tournament of her career, Serena Williams will now play unseeded Danka Kovinic in her first match. The game is due to start on Monday, September 29, with the 23-time Grand Slam champion actually playing on the same day, according to the USTA. Williams, who will celebrate her 41st birthday on September 6, announced to fans earlier this month that she is stepping down from acting. Although she did not explicitly say when she would do so, she expressed the idea that the US Open would be her farewell.
Head-to-head: Serena Williams vs. Danka Kovinic
An interesting point is the fact that Williams and Kovinic never played each other in singles. In terms of their comparison to each other, Williams has only won one of her four matches this season, only recently returning to the court after a year-long hiatus due to injury. As for the US Open itself, she lifted the trophy at Flushing Meadows six times. With that said, it’s a thing of the past and currently, having played just four games, she’s ranked 410th.
Kovinic, on the other hand, never made it past the second round in four matches at the US Open. Ahead of the tournament, the 27-year-old athlete from Montenegro is currently ranked 80th in the WTA rankings. Interestingly, she reached 46th, meaning she would have good reason to evaluate her chances against the legendary Williams.
No pressure: Williams will face a surreal situation
If you look at Serena Williams’ tennis biography, you’ll probably notice that she once spent 300 weeks as the world’s No. 1 tennis player. With that in mind, one can imagine that despite her downfall of late – clearly the result of a long absence – the intensity with which fans will follow her every move will be like never before, as they all know that every game can be her last. Regardless of her ranking, it’s still Serena Williams.
Who will Serena Williams face if she beats Danka Kovinic?
Considering she entered the US Open with such a low ranking, Williams could have run into any player since she was not actually seeded. With that said, if she manages to beat Kovinic, she could take on anyone from 27th seed Martina Trevisan of Italy to 2021 US Open runner-up Leyla Fernandez of Canada or even 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova from the Czech Republic. Indeed, if tennis fans could fulfill their dream of seeing Williams reach the final, she could very well face her big sister and seven-time world champion Venus, who is on the opposite side of the grid.