US Open 2022: Familiar face Tiger Woods watches as Serena Williams’ swan song takes a new turn against the No. 2 in the seed

Serena Williams plays more like a tennis world No. 1 than a player currently ranked outside the top 600 at the US Open.

The 40-year-old American put her retirement plans on hold and showcased the 40-year-old American’s relentless will to win as Tiger Woods, arguably the greatest golfer in history, during a gripping two-hour, 27-minute competition of unexpectedly high quality, breathless intensity and drama world cheered on from their player box the entire time.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Serena Williams wins her way to the second round of the US Open

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Williams had earlier this month signaled her intention to retire and said she would be “developing away from tennis,” but any goodbyes have now been put on hold as Williams returned for a doubles match with older sister Venus on Thursday was in the middle.

Tiger Woods was in Serena’s corner at the US Open. Recognition: Tim Clayton-Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Then in the third round there is a clash with Ajla Tomljanovic after the Australian defeated the Russian Evgeniya Rodina 1-6, 6-2, 7-5.

“There’s no rush here,” Williams said.

“I love this audience. I still have a little bit left. We will see. I’m a pretty good player, that’s what I do best. I love challenges and face the challenge.

“I haven’t played many games, but I’ve trained really well. The last few games it’s come together.

Serena Williams turned back the clock to advance to the third round. Recognition: Frey/TPN/Getty Images

“After I lost the second set, I thought, ‘I have to do my best because this could be it.’

“I just see it as a bonus. I have nothing to lose. I’ve had an X on my back since 1999. I really enjoy just getting out there and enjoying it.”

Williams was again carried by a raucous crowd at a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium, just as she was in the first round two days earlier.

She hit serves at up to 120mph, stayed on long transitions of big swings from baseline to kontaveit, and summoned some of her signature brilliance when it was most needed.

After pulling out a tight first set and faltering a bit in the second, Williams went into the dressing room for a little break before the third.

Something had to give, someone had to blink.

Serena Williams’ swan song will take at least one more match. Recognition: Frey/TPN/Getty Images

Serena turns back the clock epic.

Serena turns back the clock epic.

When they resumed, it was the 23-time Grand Slam champion who raised her level and emerged as the better player.

As she has done so many times before on so many stages where so much is at stake.

The six-time champion at Flushing Meadows plays for a fourth-round spot on Friday.

Third-seeded Greece Maria Sakkari earlier became another big casualty in the women’s draw when she lost 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 to unseeded China’s Wang Xiyu in a thrilling second-round contest.

Sakkari, a semifinalist in New York last year, took charge in the early stages of Wednesday’s game and took a set lead before being let down by a series of unforced errors as Wang claimed her first career win via a top- 10 players.

Despite Sakkari’s superior experience, Wang’s fierce batting from the baseline came to the fore in set number two as she took a 5-3 lead before cementing it after Sakkari’s double fault.

Both players were level in the decider, but it was Wang who upped her game at key moments, defeating Sakkari 6-5 to claim victory and advance to the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time.

The twelfth seeded American Coco Gauff defeated the Romanian Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6:2, 7:6 (7:4) and thus reached the third round in which she plays her compatriot Madison Keys.

Former finalist Keys recovered from a collapse in the final set to defeat Italy’s Camila Giorgi 6-4 5-7 7-6 (8-6).

Tunisian fifth-place finisher and Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabeur beat American Elisabeth Mandlik 7-5, 6-2 to keep her hopes alive.

With AAP

Behold: Serena Williams’ daughter steals the show at her latest Grand Slam

Behold: Serena Williams’ daughter steals the show at her latest Grand Slam US Open 2022: Familiar face Tiger Woods watches as Serena Williams’ swan song takes a new turn against the No. 2 in the seed

James Brien

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