Williams* 2-2 Kvinic (*indicates next presenter)
Celebrity watch: Bill Clinton, Spike Lee, Anna Wintour, Mike Tyson, Queen Latifah and many more!
The crowd’s silence as Kvinic hits a forehand winner followed by a 30-0 ace. Third double mistake from Kvinic, 30-15.
Williams’ seventh mandatory error moves Kvinic to 40-15. And when Williams takes a forehand, he’s holding the set to balance.
Williams 2-1 Kvinic* (*indicates next host)
Another good move from the net by Williams as he confidently clears the forehand volley. He then made a double mistake for the third time in the match, 15-15.
Kvinic’s big hit as he hits the backhand winner 30-30 into the corner. It’s a big sprint from Kvinic to get the ball back into play, and Williams nets a forehand, breaking point.
It rally tensed but flashes first when Kvinic puts the forehand long, deuce. Another double mistake by Williams, the second breaking point.
We’re going back to the service when Williams hits the attack.
Williams* 2-0 Kvinic (*indicates next presenter)
Double mistake from Kvinic, 15-15. Kvinic’s forehand error, 15-30. 112 mph ace, Kvinic, 40-30.
Kvinic expands his forehand after slowing down to strike Williams forehand. Double fault Kvinic, breaking point Williams.
The crowd yells in delight at Williams, showing great speed to pick up a short ball, he holds his ground in the net and takes the forehand hit away.
Early break for Williams.
Analysis from Simon Briggs at Arthur Ashe Stadium
The hysterical reaction to winning game one… what if he wins the game?
It will be pandemonium.
First Set: Serena Williams 1-0 Danka Kvinic* (*indicates next presenter)
The first point of the game goes to Williams after Kvinic throws a backhand long. Williams double fault, 15-15. And another couple of errors, 15-30. Kvinic and Williams’ deep turn, forehand wide, hit two breaking points.
Vintage Williams is on the attack, hitting the ball well and Kvinic sends the forehand into the 30-40 net. Ace by Williams. deuces And another ace. Timely return of his first serve.
Williams holds the midfield as Kvinic cries with the striker. Big round of applause for Williams. That should calm the nerves.
Williams won the draw
The American will serve first…
exploded for Arthur Ashe Williams
Kvinic takes the field to a low applause. It’s almost like no one noticed it was there.
The crowd is shown a video montage of Williams narrated by Queen Latifah.
Williams in black takes the field. His Olympia takes pictures in the crowd.
Everyone’s phones are off in the crowd. It was an incredible welcome.
There would be no USA tournament without the commentary of the Star-Spangled Banner.
Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose is now on the field to sing the US national anthem.
He received a standing ovation for a very impressive show.
We’re a little far away now…
Nice touch from US Open organizers
Ukrainian Koro Dumka from New York is currently singing Whitney Houston’s classic ‘One Moment in time’.
I must say it was very well done.
Serena fine-tunes her game…
Unsurprisingly we don’t start on time
Crowds still fill Arthur Ashe Stadium.
We will also hold an opening ceremony before the action begins.
An exhausted crowd at Arthur Ashe tonight
Stacey Allaster, US Open tournament director, said:
After Serena announced she’d be playing at the US Open, we were exhausted in a nanosecond for Monday night and Tuesday night. You can see it on the secondary market, the entry price is $230. I saw $5,800 for a patio chair tonight. Look, this is a historic moment for the Williams family, Serena, and our sport.
It’s hard to really capture what Serena and Venus are doing for the sport of tennis. They have transformed our sport. They made us more inclusive. And they surpassed the sport.
Save a thought for Danka Kvinic…
… it will be a tough match for him
Tonight’s star charm
Hello and welcome to what is guaranteed to be an emotional night in New York.
Tonight could be Serena Williams’ last game as a singles player, ready to retire at the end of the US Open. He makes headlines on the opening night of the final grand slam of the season when he faces Danka Kvinic at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Earlier this month, Williams signaled his intention to retire, saying he’s “moving away from tennis” in a Vogue article, but never confirmed the US Open as his final event. However, this will likely be his last tournament as a professional player and will be one of the best in the sport. Williams has six US Open titles and won the first of 23 singles Grand Slam titles in 1999, though his 24th is highly unlikely.
18 Grand Slam singles titles and world number 1 for 332 weeks Martina Navratilova said: “Emotions can only get you so far, I don’t see a Cinderella happy ending where she wins the tournament.”
From the looks of it, it doesn’t look like he’s going to make a miraculous comeback and win the tournament.”
Williams arrives at Flushing Meadows in Cincinnati on the back of a 6-4, 6-0 low by British teenager and current US Open champion Emma Raducanu. But in the eyes of his fellow actors, Williams’ influence is unmatched.
“His legacy is truly vast, beyond words. He changed the sport so much. He introduced people to the sport who had never heard of tennis. It’s over. I wouldn’t be here without Serena, Venus and her whole family. I’m so grateful to her,” said Naomi Osaka.
“I was also trying to figure out how to sum it up in words. To be honest, I think he’s the greatest strength in the sport.”