The 2022 U.S. Open is fairing out to be the most exciting affair at the moment as it will most likely be Serena Williams’ last.
Opening night, Aug. 29, amassed a first-day record of 1.7 million viewers, ESPN reports—a 279% increase from last year and a 40% jump from the previous high in 2019.
Not to mention, the 23x grand slam title winner Williams defeated Danka Kovinic of Montenegro in a 6-3, 6-3 match. This particular match averaged 2.7 million viewers though, and overall, the audience peaked with over 3.2 million viewers. Following the match, Williams was honored with a tribute featuring Anna Wintour, Mike Tyson, Anthony Anderson, Spike Lee, and more.
On Wednesday night (Aug. 31), Williams beat the second-ranked Anett Kontaveit in her second singles match and has advanced to the third round where she will play Ajla Tomljanovic on Friday, Sept. 2.
However, Williams will join her sister, Venus, to compete in a doubles match on Thursday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. ET. The sisters set a precedent in Grand Slam finals history with their unbeaten record of 14-0. The first won the U.S. Open as a pair in 1999, then again in 2019.
“I’m so excited for doubles. I was like, ‘It’s been so long. We gotta play again! We’ve gotta bring the reunion back,'” she said in her post-game interview after defeating Tomljanovic (see below). “So I’m excited to play with Venus and get more practice because I could use some matches.”
Williams is stepping back from tennis to expand her family and explore other business ventures as revealed in her September 2022 Vogue profile. “I’m terrible at goodbyes,” she stated in the cover story. She was also featured in a new Gatorade commercial, narrated by Beyoncé.
The U.S. Open can be viewed on ESPN and ESPN+.