NEW YORK | Will Serena Williams postpone the deadline again on Friday night, when she faces Australian Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round of the US Open, the final tournament of her illustrious career?
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On Wednesday against world number 2 Anett Kontaveit, the player with 23 major titles made people forget her 40 years. Aggressive, powerful and even quite slender, the American flew over the third set to give herself the chance to play at least one more match in the largest tennis stadium in the world.
What will he do on Friday evening, starting at 7pm. This time it is the 46th place in the world that will stand before it. A player he has never faced during his long career which would last for nearly three decades.
But besides the inspired tennis he plays in New York, something else grabs attention when it comes to the former world number 1: the glitz in which he says goodbye.
TURN FOR SERENA
On the panels that illuminate the Arthur-Ashe stadium during his games, there are two inscriptions: ” The best of all time (“the greatest of all time”) and ” Run for Serena (“circling for Serena”).
If the first sentence obviously refers to her feats on the field – 73 singles titles, 23 of which majors, and 319 weeks spent at the top of the rankings – the second recalls this habit that the champion has taken to turn on herself on the field. to celebrate their victories.
Williams did it again after each of her US Open wins this week. She swirled her black dress inspired by those worn by figure skaters and adorned with diamonds reminiscent of the New York night sky.
The bottom of the suit prepared by Nike was originally supposed to consist of six layers of fabric, recalling each of his triumphs at the United States Open. But it made the dress too heavy, regretted Serena, who had removed four.
NOT EASY TO FACE THE CROWD
Belinda Bencic, who beat Williams in Toronto, had foreseen it: the players who faced the great champion in New York should not only have beaten the legend, but also the public.
For the first two games, Arthur-Ashe was sold out, around 24,000 spectators bought tickets, despite the high price of these (in recent days it cost around $ 350 for a single ticket located on the heights of the stadium) .
Bencic was right. The New York crowd are used to being hostile, but are especially hostile when Serena is on the pitch this week, cheering every point she makes as a match point. “I knew it was going to be, but it was actually very difficult. They wanted her to win so much. And if she deserves it, “said Anett Kontaveit after her defeat.
400 DIAMONDS ON HER SHOES
It’s not just Serena’s dress that shines above Arthur Ashe Stadium. There are also her shoes, on which 400 diamonds have been set by hand. We can also read her initials “SW” in gold, in addition to the words ” mom (“mom and ” Queen ” (” Queen “).
The American is a fashion enthusiast, who has often turned heads for her sometimes extravagant, sometimes controversial outfits. She participated with Nike, her longtime sponsor, in the creation of this collection created only for the US Open.
STARS, INCLUDING HER GOOD FRIEND TIGER
There are a myriad of stars, famous people in the stands for each of Williams’ games in New York. During the first meeting on Monday, it was particularly possible to see former US President Bill Clinton, former skier Lindsey Vonn, WTA pioneer and founder Billie Jean King, as well as models Bella and Gigi Hadid.
Many of them returned on Wednesday. Even the legend’s family, including her sister Venus, her husband Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of the Reddit website, and her 4-year-old daughter Olympia came to cheer her on.
Tiger Woods, a good friend of the champion, was also seen vigorously clapping some of her winning shots. In her essay for the magazine rowingin which she announced her retirement plan, Serena also claimed to have discussed with the golfer before returning to competitions at Wimbledon.
“He said, ‘Why don’t you give yourself two weeks? No obligation, just to see how you feel?’ “