23-time Major winner Serena Williams managed to stave off retirement for at least one more match after she won the opening contest at the US Open while Simona Halep became the highest profile name to fall on day 1.
Williams, who has indicated that she will retire from tennis after the US Open, grinded her way to a 6-3 6-3 win over Danka Kovinic.
The win was just her second singles victory of the year.
The American ran into some early trouble, piling up the double faults as Kovinic got in front 3-2. But Williams lifted her game to sweep the next four games to snatch the first set. She did not relent in the second breaking early and easing to a win from there on out to the delight of the crowd.
Her path to a record-equalling 24th grand slam gets tougher from here though as she will face second seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia who breezed past Jaqueline Cristian 6-3 6-0.
Meanwhile, away from the spectacle of Serena Williams’ last grand slam, Simona Halep became the biggest name to fall in the women’s draw on day 1 of the US Open.
Ukrainian qualifier Daria Snigur produced the performance of her career to upset the two-time grand slam winner 6-2 0-6 6-4.
Beatriz Haddad Maia, Coco Gauff, Bianca Andreescu, Alison Riske, Maria Sakkari, Leylah Fernandez and Ons Jabeur were notable names to progress into the next round as well.