Serena Williams won her first 2022 U.S. Open match against Danka Kovinic. On Monday night (Aug. 29), the 23-Grand Slam champion wowed the crowd at the sold-out Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, N.Y., winning 6-3, 6-3.
According to AP News, the match between the two women drew in 29,000 fans, setting a record for the tournament. With the loudness of the crowd, the love in the arena for Serena during her potential last tournament was tangible.
“When I walked out, the reception was overwhelming. It was loud, and I could feel it in my chest. It was a really good feeling,” the 6-time U.S. Open champion said. “It’s a feeling I’ll never forget. That meant a lot to me.”
Along with her stellar display of skill, Williams’ game-time fit also dazzled. The athlete donned a customized diamond-encrusted Nike get-up matching the shimmery jewels in her hair, appropriate for the “Queen of Tennis.” To cap it off, Williams walked out to Kanye West’s “Diamonds From Sierra Leone” setting the night’s tone.
And the royalty didn’t stop there. The athlete’s daughter, Olympia, wore a matching diamond-encrusted outfit, capped with beads dangling from her braids — just like her mother used to rock in 1999.
Serena’s dominant win over Kovinic arrives on the heels of the tennis player announcing her plans to leave the game. Earlier this month, Williams revealed to Vogue that she will be stepping away from tennis. “I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me,” she expressed.
Ahead of her 2022 U.S. Open match, her journey and legacy were recently immortalized through a new Gatorade commercial featuring narration by Beyoncé.