The spark of the U.S. Open is unmatched by any other tennis event in the world.
Part of that spark was created by tennis legend Serena Williams, a six-time U.S. Open Grand Slam singles champion. The 41-year-old officially retired last year after losing in the third round of the Open.
‘Reality is hitting’ One fan said Day two of the U.S. Open. “This is the first year without her — there’s just something missing.”
Although Williams, a mother of two, has missed four U.S. Opens since her debut in 1998, this is the first time fans are no longer anticipating an epic comeback from the 23-time Grand Slam champion.
“This is different, Serena is the GOAT,” another fan said. “She’s the greatest, so when she’s not here, it’s like ‘ugh,’ but we’ll make the most of it, but we definitely miss her presence.”
Serena’s sister Venus will be in the spotlight tonight when she takes on Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen at Arthur Ashe Stadium at 7pm.
“I’m very aware that Serena is not going to play,” Venus said when asked how the tournament would go without her sister in the draw. “Even before she retired, I had a chance to get used to the idea. I kind of knew that was coming.”
Two-time U.S. Open champion Venus becomes the oldest woman in the draw at 43 and the fourth woman to play 100 matches at the U.S. Open.
She also achieved a record of 21 wins and 2 losses in the first round of the American competition, and she has great hopes of winning in the first round.
After nearly two days of competition, there were many upsets in the women’s draw. The eliminated seed players include No. 29 seed Ellsabetta Cocciaretto, No. 16 seed Veronika Kudermetova, No. 28 seed Angelina Ka Anhelina Kalinina, No. 8 seed Maria Sakkari and No. 7 seed Caroline Garcia.
The winner of the Williams-Minnan event will face the winner of No. 21 Donna Vecchi and qualifier Sakia Vickery in the second round.