Serena Williams’ 1st foe at US Open is No. 80 Danka Kovinic

Sports

NEW YORK (AP) — Serena Williams’ first opponent at what is expected to be the last tournament of her career, the U.S. Open, will be Danka Kovinic.

Win that, and Williams could face No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia in the second round.

The brackets for the women’s and men’s singles events were released Thursday by the U.S. Tennis Association.

Play begins Monday; first-round matches will be held that day and Tuesday. There was no immediate word on when Williams will compete.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion, who turns 41 on Sept. 26, announced this month she was preparing to step away from her playing career. She did not explicitly say when she planned to stop but made it sound as if the U.S. Open would mark her farewell.

Williams has won the hard-court tournament in Flushing Meadows six times.

She is just 1-3 this season, having recently returned to singles action after a year away following a first-round injury exit at Wimbledon in 2021.

Her first match back came at the All England Club in late June, and she lost her opener there in a third-set tiebreaker to 115th-ranked Harmony Tan.

Kovinic is a 27-year-old from Montenegro who is 80th in the WTA rankings this week and has been as high as 46th. Williams and Kovinic have never played each other in singles.

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