Serena Williams confirmed she has no intention of ending her singles profession with out a struggle after beating second seed Anett Kontaveit on one other outstanding night time on the US Open.
Williams, ranked 605th and turning 41 subsequent month, gained 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 6-2 to stun the Estonian in New York.
The American lately introduced her intention to retire after her residence main and is now into the third spherical.
Williams will play Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic subsequent on Friday.
A couple of weeks in the past, Williams introduced she was “evolving away” from taking part in tennis in an essay for vogue journal Vogue, however agreed after beating Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic on Monday she had been imprecise about her precise timeline.
“There is no such thing as a rush right here,” she laughed after beating Kontaveit. “There may be nonetheless a bit left in me.”
Whereas missing a number of the pomp and ceremony from her opening match on Monday, this was one other particular ambiance as 23-time main singles champion Williams appeared to increase her storied profession by not less than one other spherical.
Extra A-Record celebrities, together with golf famous person Tiger Woods, actress Zendaya and soul singer Gladys Knight, have been amongst an adoring residence crowd on the cavernous Arthur Ashe Stadium which was wowed by Williams successful a tense opening set.
The previous long-time world primary suffered a dip of vitality from the beginning of the second set as Kontaveit levelled however she recovered to win an edgy decider.
In the long run, Williams dealt with the event higher than her 26-year-old opponent – who appeared emotional earlier than the ultimate sport as she hid below her towel – and secured a victory that left many in an exultant crowd leaping to their toes to have a good time.
“I’m a reasonably good participant, that is what I do greatest. I really like a problem and I’m rising to the problem,” mentioned the six-time US Open champion, who first gained at Flushing Meadows in 1999.
“I haven’t performed many matches however I’ve been practising rather well. Now it’s coming collectively in New York.”
Whether or not it might come collectively in New York was debatable heading into the Grand Slam match.
Williams had solely performed 4 occasions since making her return from an 11-month harm lay-off, together with her most up-to-date match ending in a thrashing by British primary Emma Raducanu in Cincinnati.
There she had struggled with a knee harm within the build-up. Right here she is match, transferring effectively and matching the athleticism of her youthful opponents.
One issue which might by no means be questioned is her insatiable need to win and the power to summon the psychological energy to beat adversity.
Requested if she was stunned by her degree, Williams replied: “No. I’m simply Serena.”
Kontaveit is ranked second on this planet however has struggled to stay as much as her standing in current months.
Her degree was first rate in opposition to Williams of their first profession assembly and she or he mentioned she thought she “didn’t play a foul match in any respect”.
“I feel it’s important to be prepared for actually nice tennis as a result of Serena has been such an enormous champion, successful all these Grand Slam titles for a motive,” she added.