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Serena Williams beats Danka Kovinic score, highlights, reaction, winner, latest, outfit and shoes explained

Serena Williams delayed her US Open tennis farewell as her sport’s icon battled to a first-round victory in front of a star-studded crowd.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner — who hinted she plans to retire from tennis after the tournament — used all her experience to beat low-ranked Montenegrin rival Danka Kovinic 6-3, 6-3.

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The 40-year-old was down early after a break, but on the back of her good serve, she surged into the match, taking the first 6-3 in 55 minutes. Feeding off the momentum, she won the second round by the same scoreline to set up a second-round showdown with world No. 2 Annette Kontaveit.

A sporting and cultural icon, Williams won her first Grand Slam title at the same venue in 1999 as a 17-year-old prodigy.

For Monday’s sold-out evening session, Williams returned to one of her favorite stages in a typically sparkly outfit.

According to the New York Times, Williams wore a sparkly black bodysuit and dress with six tiers — one for her US Open title. She also makes custom-made, diamond-encrusted shoes.

In her final match before the US Open in Cincinnati earlier this month, she beat Britain’s Emma Raducanu 6-4, 6-0 – herself knocked out of the Australian Open by Kovinic in January.

On Saturday, organizers confirmed that she and older sister Venus Williams have been given a wild card for the women’s doubles tournament, which starts on Wednesday.

Even then, it’s unclear if Williams will be called upon in her career after her US Open campaign ends.

In an interview with NBC’s Today show on Friday, Williams refused to confirm whether she would retire in New York — and wouldn’t even rule out playing until 2023.

“I think so, but who knows?” She told NBC when asked if she would retire. But in an Instagram post on Monday, just hours before her first round clash, Williams reiterated that the end is near.

“Thank you all,” she wrote. “It was amazing.”

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