First Day of US Open : All Eyes Are on Serena Williams

Serena Williams takes the court Monday night for her first match of what's anticipated to be her last U.S. Open. Williams will face Danka Kovinic at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows in New York City — the site of Williams' first U.S. Open win in 1999, when she was 17.

Earlier this month, Williams, now 40, announced her plans to retire from tennis, after a decades-long career in which she dominated and transformed the women's game and that includes 23 Grand Slam singles titles. 

"Her story of the early years in Compton, California, with sister Venus, under the tutelage of their dad, 'King Richard,' now of movie fame, that all became part of her legend and paved the way for more young people of color to pursue what had traditionally been a white sport

As she prepared to take the court Monday, Williams received tributes from fellow athletes and fans, including a spot on the cover of Time magazine. Williams has won six U.S. Open singles championships, the last in 2014.

But Williams is currently ranked 605th for singles, returning to play only recently after battling injuries. Her opponent, 27-year-old Kovinic of Montenegro, is ranked 80th. Williams has only played four matches this year, and only won one

"She really is, probably for the first time in her life, an underdog" to win the U.S. Open, Bryant said. "But boy, what a magical fairy tale story if she can come to New York and pull off some magic." After she retires from tennis, Williams will continue her pioneering ways and focus on developing a venture capital firm she formed eight years ago.

Five Things to Watch: Day 1 at the 2022 US Open

1. Serena finale to light up center stage

2. The defending champion is in town

4. Major players to make their mark?

5. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi, oi, oi!

3. Home talents open their account

The waiting is over, and now spectacular awaits. USOpen.org previews Day 1 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, with men's and women's singles play springing into action at Flushing Meadows.