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Serena Williams qualified for the third round of the US Open on Wednesday by beating Estonian Anett Kontaveit. His rise to power bodes well for what should be his last tournament.
Serena Williams promised her: she doesn’t particularly want to win a 24e Grand Slam title for his farewell to the US Open. However, her successful victories in the first two rounds, her growing power and her rage to win cause her to start scaring all her opponents again.
“Once again !” Daft Punk’s hit resonated loudly in the Arthur-Ashe court speakers, to accompany the triumphant exit of the 40-year-old American on Wednesday, after her stunning victory at the expense of world No. 2 Anett Kontaveit 7-6 (7 /4), 2-6, 6-2.
The famous refrain also has the merit of announcing its return, scheduled for Friday against Australian Ajla Tomljanovic (46e), who, like all the other players still in lice, must be wondering how to manage this situation where all the pressure supposed to rest on the legend of their sport ends up falling on the shoulders of her opponents.
>> To read also on France 24: Serena Williams close to retirement, the end of an extraordinary and committed career
After Danka Kovinic (80e) admittedly a little tender on Monday – and probably intimidated by the event which included a much premature tribute ceremony to the “greatest player of all time” – Kontaveit had the experience and the necessary firepower on her side. to contain Williams, who has appeared in recent weeks very far, physically and in terms of play, from the level that allows her to reign over the world of tennis for so many years.
“She’s a threat now”
“I haven’t played many games [ces derniers mois], but I trained well,” Serena explained. “Not everything was falling into place. I said to myself ‘But, that’s not me!’ And then these two meetings, here in New York, it actually fell into place.”
– Journalist: Did you surprise yourself?
– Serena Williams: What?
– Journalist: Did you surprise yourself?
– Serena Williams: I’m just Serena.
— Quentin Moynet (@QuentinMoynet) September 1, 2022
And after a big fight during which the two players went blow for blow, the Estonian ended up breaking down against the lioness Serena, roaring as in her finest hours – under the amazed eyes of the “Tiger”, Tiger Woods, for whom it was “a privilege to witness excellence”, according to Tweet son.
Her last dance, the youngest of the Williams sisters, which definitely prolongs the pleasure since she will return to the center on Thursday too, with her eldest Venus for a doubles match, begins to give her terribly frenzied tricks.
To the immoderate joy of the New York public, logically committed to its cause and dreaming of seeing history written before its eyes, in defiance of the near-impossible, surprise is now combined, not sparing game specialists. , although former champion Chris Evert had warned: “Don’t underestimate her”.
“I’m stunned,” said Eurosport consultant Mats Wilander, who believes in Williams’ ability to win a seventh US Open. “When she does, of course she can, because it’s Serena and she hits the ball so well. Her mobility is much better than I ever imagined and her serve is coming back. She’s a threat now.”
“I’m just Serena”
“I think there’s more to come. She, too, believes there’s more to come. That’s how you win twenty-three Slams, I guess. She internalizes the problem in front of her and wears down the crowd. She has that tiger eye. It’s amazing. She becomes Serena,” added the former Swedish player.
“I’m just Serena”replied the interested party, with a mischievous smile in support, to the question of whether she was surprised to play so well: “I am a good player”.
“I’m amazed that she can hold on, but we’ve seen her do it in Grand Slams, having played few matches. She wins one, then two, then it completely reverses… And she becomes one of the favorites,” said Wilander.
All in such a particular context: her retirement announced without however having said when or where it would be recorded, and which, instead of paralyzing her, seems to make her stronger. And therefore very dangerous: “I consider all this as a bonus. I have nothing to prove. I have absolutely nothing to lose.”