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Serena Williams Will Play Danka Kovinic in U.S. Open First Round


In what she has indicated might be her final U.S. Open and certain her final tournament, Serena Williams was drawn to face the unseeded Danka Kovinic of Montenegro within the opening round.

Kovinic is ranked eightieth on the earth, but Williams, who turns 41 on Sept. 26, is unseeded herself and ranked 608th at this late stage of her profession. She has only a 1-3 record in singles since returning to the tour in June and was soundly beaten, 6-4, 6-0, by Emma Raducanu, last yr’s surprise U.S. Open champion, within the opening round of the Western and Southern Open last week.

Williams and Kovinic, 27, have never played in singles on tour, but Kovinic has the weapons, including a strong serve, to hassle Williams within the first-round match that might be played on Monday or Tuesday next week in Arthur Ashe Stadium. But there is a big gap in achievement between the 2: Williams is the best women’s player of this era with 23 Grand Slam singles titles and long runs at No. 1. Kovinic has yet to win a tour singles title.

If Williams, a six-time U.S. Open singles champion, were to prevail, she is more likely to face No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit within the second round. Though Kontaveit is one among the highest two seeds, she has struggled through much of the 2022 season.

It is a developing story and might be updated.

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