US Open 2022: 3 milestones Serena Williams achieved by winning her 1R match

2022 US Open - Day 1
Serena Williams is through to the second round at her final US Open appearance.

Serena Williams opened her final campaign at the US Open with an emotional straight-set win over Danka Kovinic on Monday night.

The soon-to-be-retiring Williams, a six-time winner at Flushing Meadows, won for only the second time (singles) this year. It was the 40-year-old's first win at a Major since her third-round win at Roland Garros last year.

In front of a record sold-out night session crowd of 29,402 at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Williams, playing the final tournament of her career, made a nervy start. She soon rediscovered her mojo, serving out the opening set after saving four break points. A lone break in the second sufficed as Williams booked her place in the second round to extend her farewell campaign in New York.

Williams will now take on Anett Kontaveit for a place in the third round. On that note, here are three milestones she achieved with her first-round win at Flushing Meadows:

#3. Serena Williams has won 55 straight sets in 1R of hardcourt Grand Slam

Serena Williams at the 2022 US Open
Serena Williams at the 2022 US Open

With her straight-sets win over Kovinic, Williams has not dropped a set in the first round of a hardcourt Grand Slam (Australian Open and US Open) since the first round in Melbourne Park against Na Li in 2006. The American lost in the third round at the Australian Open that year.

Since then, she has reeled off 55 straight sets spanning 27 matches across the two Majors, including 14 matches at the US Open. Williams has now won 107 matches at Flushing Meadows.

Williams will now hope for a similar match against Kontaveitt, whom she has never faced before, as she looks for a deep run in the final tournament of her illustrious career.

#2. Serena Williams extends her perfect record in US Open 1R matches to 21-0

Serena Williams is through to the second round at Flushing Meadows.
Serena Williams is through to the second round at Flushing Meadows.

Serena Williams never lost in 20 opening-round matches at the US Open ahead of this year's edition.

However, having lost three of her four singles matches this year, there was a possibility that she could stumble in the first round at Flushing Meadows. However, that was not to be, as the American rolled back the years to pull out a near vintage performance to extend her farewell party in New York.

With her win over Kovinic, the 40-year-old is now a perfect 21-0 in first-round matches at Flushing Meadows.

She will now look to extend her perfect 2R record at the US Open to 21-0, having made the third round on her Flushing Meadows debut in 1998 - her earliest exit at the tournament.

However, she will have her task cut out against second seed Konteveit, who made the third round in New York last year.

#1. Serena Williams becomes fourth player to win a Major match in their teens, 20s, 30s and 40s

Serena Williams greets Kovinic (left) at the net.
Serena Williams greets Kovinic (left) at the net.

Serena Williams is one of four players to win a match at a Majors in four decades, having made her Grand Slam bow at the 1998 Australian Open as a 16-year-old. On Monday night, she joined an exclusive group of just three other players to win a match at a Major in their teens, 20s, 30s and 40s.

The others are her sister Venus Williams, Martina Navratilova and Kimiko Date. Except Krumm, all the others are multiple Major winners and are considered legends of the game.

Williams is looking to emulate compatriot and tennis legend Pete Sampras - who won the US Open (2002) in the final tournament of his career. If she goes all the way at Flushing Meadows this fortnight, the American would tie Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles.

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