(NEW YORK) — Serena Williams won her second-round match of the U.S. Open Wednesday on yet another electric night in Arthur Ashe Stadium, defeating the WTA No. 2-ranked player Anett Kontaveit of Estonia in three sets, 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 6-2.
After the match, Williams said that “there’s still a little bit left” in the tennis superstar.
“This is what I do best. I love a challenge. I love rising to a challenge,” Williams said during a post-match interview. “The last couple matches here in New York, it’s really come together.”
Williams said she kicked it into gear after she lost the second set because she said she thought “this could be it.”
“I’m honestly just looking at [winning the U.S. Open] as a bonus. I don’t have anything to prove. I don’t have anything to win. I have absolutely nothing to lose,” Williams said. “I’ve had an ‘X’ on my back since ’99… I really enjoy just coming out and enjoying [playing], and it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to do that.”
Williams defeated 80th-ranked Danka Kovinić of Montenegro in two sets, 6-3, 6-3, on Monday night, in an electric match that could have been her last professional singles appearance. Following her win, a celebration for Williams was held at center court, including appearances from tennis legend Billie Jean King and a taped message narrated by Oprah Winfrey.
All eyes have been on Williams, 40, who had announced earlier this month in a personal essay for Vogue that she would be “evolving away” from tennis.
In her nearly three-decade-long career, Williams has won 23 major singles titles — the most in the Open Era for men or women — but is in pursuit to notch one more at Arthur Ashe Stadium, on the same court she won her first major title in 1999.
Williams will reunite with her older sister Venus Williams to play a doubles first-round match on Thursday night. Her third round singles match will be against Australian player Ajla Tomljanovic on Friday.
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