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Highlights from Serena Williams’s first-round U.S. Open win over Danka Kovinic

Eager to witness what might be Serena Williams's final competitive match, thousands of fans poured into the Billie Jean King Tennis Center on Aug. 29. (Video: Reuters)

Serena Williams’s career lives to see another match.

Williams beat Danka Kovinic, 6-3, 6-3, in the first round of what is likely her last U.S. Open in front of a raucous crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday. She’ll next face world No. 2 Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, a stiffer challenge than No. 80 Kovinic.

But come Wednesday, Williams may be settled in and ready for a prolonged battle. She clinched the match with a solid second set after taking the first to warm up — and stealing it on a mishit backhand that went her way.

“Luck favors the brave,” Chris Evert said on the broadcast.

Williams’s most powerful weapon, her serve, sputtered throughout the first set, appearing to rattle her at times and lending a general uneasiness to the otherwise glitzy proceedings. Kovinic was serving to take a two-game lead midway through the set when Williams hit an unsteady backhand that seemed to be sailing long but just clipped the back of the baseline and the edge of the sideline.

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