Serena Williams defeated the world No. 2 Anett Kontaveit in the second round of the US Open

Serena Williams is in the process of privatizing the evening sessions at Arthur-Ashe and she will not leave it to anyone to set the mood for the evenings. Welcomed like a rock star on Monday at the dawn of his last US Open, the American did it again on Wednesday night and again on Thursday, in doubles with his sister Venus, then probably Friday for his third singles of the week. Because last night, the former world No. 1 did his magic again by defeating world No. 2 Anett Kontaveit in the second round (7-6). [4]2-6, 6-2).

This farewell tour took an unusual turn and even the organization, which showed a video with a small warming taste after the victory of the hostess, seemed surprised. The leading actress, she seemed to be happy with her shot, jokingly when Mary Joe Fernandez asked her if she was surprised. “I’m Serena”, the interested party laughed after checking that he understood the question. as “to be Serena” is similar to pushing the limits, the youngest of the Williams sisters still do so when it comes time to launch his last fire.

An increased level of play

Not many people could have imagined such a scenario when they saw her leave the court 6-0 against Emma Raducanu two weeks ago in Cincinnati. But the current 413th in the world will go for the third round of this US Open. On Monday, Danka Kovinic seemed a bit mellow due to the intensity of the action in the second set. But for this second round, Williams faced the world No. 2, who is certainly slowly recovering from a long Covid, but is a stronger and more experienced opponent.

The American was able to raise his level compared to two days ago, especially in serving (eleven aces, 75% of the points were won on his first). Because this is the barometer of his game, he quickly showed that you have to walk him to get him out of this court which is his garden. He was the first to offer himself opportunities to challenge service games and Kontaveit began to feel the breath of thousands of people on his back (29,959 spectators for the evening session, a bag -ong record). At break point at 3-3, the public showed up loudly when he missed his first ball. “Please”the referee repeated before the Estonian managed his second, signaling to everyone that he had strong nerves.

Serena Williams on Wednesday night in New York. (M. Segar/Reuters)

A judgmental public

But he couldn’t extinguish the burning fire for long, especially at the start of the match than in the first round, and when he gave up his serve at 4-4, the stadium erupted for the first time. Williams didn’t know how to take advantage of the moment, suddenly feverish when he was too solid on his serve and he turned his face away.

And then in a strange parallelism, the American decompressed and the public became quiet, completely slow when his champion had to defend three break points from the start of the second set. Kontaveit took advantage of the silence to investigate the games and take the second action point in her hand, greeted by some respectful applause. The fans wait for the player to wake up, unless it’s the other way around. They all continued their tiresome waltz for the opponent at the start of the third set.

An open board today

Williams put the full pressure on, the audience responded by rising as a woman at every key point. It’s hard to pick one exchange that sums up this whole combination. Maybe in this game, at 4-2 where he has to defend a break point. At one point 19 shots in, he slashed his opponent with a long backhand line after several defenses from another chance. And there was this bell, improbably, hanging on the line before it finished the point with a half volley to make the coldest supporters hysterical.

The frenzy grew, unstoppable, as Kontaveit tried to stay in the game one last time. Too complicated, too much pressure. The Estonian remained powerless in the final triumphant comeback as his opponent spun again to celebrate his success. Everyone can now dream out loud. By beating Kontaveit, Williams opened the table well. Ajla Tomljanovic is waiting for him on the third lap and you have to be very strong to stop the steamroller move. When Serena and the audience come together, suddenly anything becomes possible.

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