Serena Williams’ 2022 US Open run has all of the makings and magic of her championships from years previous

September 1, 2022

FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y. – There was magic within the Queens air so many occasions when Serena Williams has stepped on the court docket at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Wednesday night time, in what might have been her final singles match ever, was no totally different. In what is anticipated to be the ultimate match of her legendary, sport-changing profession, Williams took down No. 2 seed Anna Kontaveit on the US Open in entrance of a file night time session crowd of 29,959 — and it certain felt like all 29,959 had been rooting for Serena.

To her credit score, Kontaveit by no means, ever backed down from the magnitude of this specific scenario — one she she mentioned she’d by no means skilled earlier than.

“It was [Serena’s] second. I used to be very conscious of that,” she mentioned after the match.

Kontaveit by no means performed like an underdog, regardless of being one in each method however on paper. After your entire stadium helped will Williams to a 7-4 tiebreaker to win the primary set 7-6, the Estonian got here proper again out prefer it by no means occurred and shortly received the primary three video games en path to profitable the second set, 6-2.

However within the third set, that Queens magic reared its head once more for Williams, for what appeared just like the millionth time in her profession. She pulled off a miracle. The 40-year-old star, who’s 14 years older than Kontaveit, got here out and shortly received the primary sport. Then, critically, she broke Kontaveit’s serve.

At that time, the killer intuition that Williams has all the time possessed, the one which introduced her to the top of American sports activities, confirmed up and carried her to a 6-2 third set win. 

“It is a bizarre combination of embracing but additionally staying targeted,” Williams mentioned of rising to the event within the second-round match.

The query now turns into, after knocking out the second ranked ladies’s tennis participant on the planet: can Serena truly exit on high and win this match? Can she maintain rising to the event?

There is a lot of historic precedent that goes into answering that.

If she does win, will probably be Williams’ twenty fourth Grand Slam, greater than any participant within the Open Period and tied total for the profession mark with Margaret Courtroom. It would even be her file seventh US Open title, yet one more than Chris Evert.

As for the proof of Williams occurring a run like this, the precedent is there on the US Open … on this method.

She is now 51-11 in opposition to seeded gamers and 18-6 when dealing with the next seed in New York. She’s additionally 24-9 in opposition to high 10 seeds. And on the subject of the US Open, vs. high 5 seeds, she is 16-4. All the best way again in 1999 — one other reminder of Williams’ gorgeous longevity — Serena, because the No. 7 seed, eradicated No. 4 Monica Seles, No. 2 Lindsay Davenport and No. 1 Martina Hingis to win this very match.

This isn’t 1999. A whopping 23 years later, although, Williams has a shot to go on the same run. It’s proper there in entrance of her. Massive names like Naomi Osaka and Emma Randucanu — stars who’ve confirmed themselves in Grand Slams — will not be standing in Serena’s method in the mean time. Her subsequent match is on Friday in opposition to unseeded Ajla Tomljanovic. Ought to she beat Tomljanovic, Williams would not play a seeded participant within the 4th spherical both, with (23) Barbora Krejcikova and (14) Laylah Ferndandez, the runner up ultimately 12 months’s Australian Open, already out the best way in her part of the draw. 

That is all changing into harking back to what a fellow American tennis star, Jimmy Connors, did in 1991 within the twilight of his profession. He was 39 and made the semis on the US Open, taking down seeds earlier than petering out vs. No. 4 Jim Courier. However boy, did he give Flushing Meadows one thing to root for on the best way. 

Connors, famously, mentioned “Is not this what they pay for? That is what they need” relating to the fan help on the US Open that 12 months. 

After all, Williams desires to duplicate that run Connors had, however go the additional mile and win all of it within the place the place she’s already executed that six occasions. She’s already given the followers at Arthur Ashe a lot to root for, relationship all the best way again to 1999 when she first received. She’ll look to maintain the magic occurring Friday.

See also  2022 WNBA Finals: Schedule, scores, TV channel, watch on-line, begin occasions as Aces take 2-0 lead