Serena Williams Upsets No. 2 Anett Kontaveit, Advances to 2022 US Open 3rd Round

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IISeptember 1, 2022

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Serena Williams is moving on to the third round of the U.S. Open after defeating No. 2-seeded Anett Kontaveit 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-2 on Wednesday from New York City's Arthur Ashe Stadium.

US Open Tennis @usopen

SERENA WILLIAMS KEEPS ON WINNING <a href="https://t.co/1mwixyVjtw">pic.twitter.com/1mwixyVjtw</a>

US Open Tennis @usopen

The twirl continues. The career continues.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Serena?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Serena</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USOpen</a> <a href="https://t.co/O4f5h9zgpv">pic.twitter.com/O4f5h9zgpv</a>

The 40-year-old Williams' phenomenal and powerful serves proved to be the key to her success, and she now holds a 42-0 record in the first and second rounds of the U.S. Open all-time.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles winner, who is playing her final tournament, posted 10 aces and won 46 of 63 first-serve points (including 24 of 27 in the first set).

Both players held serve in the first set until Williams broke Kontaveit to go up 5-4.

US Open Tennis @usopen

Serena will serve for the set.<br><br>She gets the break to make it 5-4. <a href="https://t.co/odFScdFQZi">pic.twitter.com/odFScdFQZi</a>

However, the Estonian bounced back by breaking Williams and knotting the score at five. The set soon went into a tiebreaker, which featured more tense tennis and this Williams baseline winner:

US Open Tennis @usopen

Vintage <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Serena?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Serena</a> <a href="https://t.co/NxsiYId0Fw">pic.twitter.com/NxsiYId0Fw</a>

Up 4-3, Williams earned a point on Kontaveit's serve and held on from there for the 7-4 tiebreaker win.

US Open Tennis @usopen

Set 1: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Serena?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Serena</a> <a href="https://t.co/Q2jljqaXo5">pic.twitter.com/Q2jljqaXo5</a>

The second set was all Kontaveit, who rolled to a 6-2 win after breaking Williams on her first two opportunities.

US Open Tennis @usopen

Kontaveit 💥<br><br>The 🇪🇪 is up an early break in the 2nd. <a href="https://t.co/CSKr6JKoVR">pic.twitter.com/CSKr6JKoVR</a>

Kontaveit won all seven of her first-serve points and seven of 10 second-return points.

Undeterred, Williams put on a masterclass in the third set, breaking Kontaveit on three separate occasions en route to the 6-2 victory.

US Open Tennis @usopen

Serena is one step closer.<br><br>She takes an early break in the third set. <a href="https://t.co/TjsEXyRSyn">pic.twitter.com/TjsEXyRSyn</a>

Kontaveit had a chance to erase a break and serve down 4-3, but Williams denied that chance after this remarkable point.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

SERENA WILLIAMS.<br><br>INCREDIBLE.<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/usopen?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@usopen</a>)<a href="https://t.co/KvulR6peQ4">pic.twitter.com/KvulR6peQ4</a>

She won 12 of 16 first-serve points and earned 14 winners to Kontaveit's three.

With the victory, Williams continued her astounding success against top-two players.

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

With tonight's win, Serena Williams has now won 23 of her last 25 matches vs WTA Top-2 players dating back to 2007.<br><br>Her 48 match wins vs WTA Top-2 players are the most by any player since the rankings were introduced in 1975. <a href="https://t.co/5TsD6NYmW9">pic.twitter.com/5TsD6NYmW9</a>

Williams will now face unseeded Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round. The two have never met head-to-head before.

Williams will also team with her sister, seven-time Grand Slam singles champion Venus Williams, in doubles action. The duo has won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles together. Their 2022 U.S. Open run will begin Thursday against Linda Noskova and Lucie Hradecka.


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