Serena Williams advances past first round in final US open
Serena Williams, of the United States, reacts after defeating Danka Kovinic, of Montenegro, during the first round of the US Open tennis championships, Monday, Aug. 29, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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Forty-year-old Serena Williams turned back the hands of time as she delivered a dominant performance over Danka Kovinic in Monday night’s first round of the women’s US Open.

In front of a sold-out crowd of nearly 24,000, she reminded the tennis world and casual viewers alike of why we hold her in high regard as not only a tennis revolutionary, but as the greatest tennis player of all time.

Earlier this month, Williams announced she would “evolve” from the sport she’s loved and given her so much and the capacity crowd was there to give her the flowers she’s earned throughout her illustrious and unprecedented career.

From the white beads dancing atop her braided hair to C-walking on the court, she’s left indelible moments for old and new fans to appreciate her talents on and off the court.

While she performs at an apex few could ever dream of ascending, Williams has staked her place among the Mount Rushmore of greatest athletes ever and doesn’t appear to be done quite yet.

After making quick work of Kovnic in two sets of 6-3, 6-3, Williams will now face No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit on Wednesday at Flushing Meadows. Given the high profile nature of Williams’ status in the game and her impending “evolution” away from tennis, all eyes will be on Williams as she makes history yet again.

There can be no doubt, the folks so enthusiastically backing Williams on Monday will come again to the U.S. Open from far and wide for Serena as she looks to extend her swan song.

Wednesday night will likely feature another packed house of spectators and A-listers there to honor her and show appreciation for what she’s done on the court and off. After watching the victory over Kovinic, spectators held up blue, white or red placards that were distributed at their seats to spell out “We (Heart) Serena.”

“Just keep supporting me,” Williams said, “as long as I’m here.”

Hailing from Charlotte North Carolina, born litterateur Ezekiel J. Walker earned a B.A. in Psychology at Winston Salem State University. Walker later published his first creative nonfiction book and has...