Serena Williams US Open 2022

Serena Williams relishing ‘once in a lifetime experience’ at US Open

Serena Williams feels she is playing with more enjoyment than ever before at this year’s US Open as she feels any pressure has lifted from her shoulders. 

The six-time US Open champion back up her form from round one to take out world number two Anett Kontaveit, even prompting calls from Mats Wilander that she is now one of the favourites for the title.

Serena has now made it to at least the third round in every one of her 21 US Open appearances stretching back to 1998, and only failed to make it to the fourth round on that debut in New York.

“The experience was really good,” Serena said in her post-match press conference of the atmosphere against Kontaveit. “I think you can only have this experience once in a lifetime, for sure.

“Now it’s kind of coming together, I guess. I mean, I had to bring it together today. It worked out.”

Serena spoke both in her on-court interview and afterwards to the media about the freedom she is feeling at Flushing Meadows.

“Honestly I’m just looking at [this tournament] as a bonus. I don’t have anything to prove, I don’t have anything to win. I have absolutely nothing to lose.

“I never get to play like this since 1998 really. Literally, I’ve had an X on my back since 1999 (when she won her first US Open). So it’s kind of fun. I really enjoy just coming out and enjoying it and it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to do that.”

“[That X], it’s been there my entire career, because I won my first Grand Slam early in my career,” she continued in press. “But here it’s different. I feel like I’ve already won, figuratively, mentally.

“It’s just pretty awesome the things that I’ve done. I never, like, accept that. I never think about it. Yeah, so tonight I was just like, Serena, you’ve already won, just play, be Serena. You’re better than this.”

Though her next round opponent, Ajla Tomljanovic, is ranked far lower than Kontaveit at 46th in the world, she could very well present a tough match for the legend.

The Australian reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in July, equalling her best Slam result achieved there in 2021.



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