WATCH: Tennis Honors: Naomi Osaka on Serena Williams


Anett Kontaveit made a statement in her dominant first-round win at the US Open, dropping just three games against Jaqueline Cristian on Court 17.

Her next match will likely take place on a slightly bigger court: Kontaveit will face the 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams for the first time in the second round.

Not only will the world No. 2 be hitting the court in search of a spot in the third round, she’ll be aiming to send Serena into retirement—the 40-year-old has announced the US Open will likely be her final professional singles event, as she begins her “evolution” away from the sport.

“I'm just going to take it as a real unique experience. I'm not sure if I'll ever experience something like this again,” Kontaveit told press after her own victory.

“I think it's a special moment for her. Really happy to get to play against her on [Arthur Ashe Stadium], I'm sure at night, in her element.”

Kontaveit improved to 25-13 on the season after a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Jaqueline Cristian.

Kontaveit improved to 25-13 on the season after a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Jaqueline Cristian.

In fact, this was the match that Kontaveit had mentally circled when the draw was released. Check out our Baseline Quote of the Day, courtesy of the No. 2 seed:

Q. The next match, you'll be facing Serena. What are your thoughts on that?

ANETT KONTAVEIT: I'm really excited. I was really rooting for her to win today! I've never played against her. I mean, this is the last chance. Better late than never (smiling).

I'm really excited. I think the atmosphere is going to be amazing. I'm really looking forward to it.

I think it's going to be one of those matches this year, that I haven't had too many [of], where I just have no pressure on me. I'll just get to enjoy and play as good as I can on the day.


Swinging freely with no pressure might be just what Kontaveit needs, as she seeks to play herself back into the form that saw her reach three finals and lift one trophy earlier this year.

Despite earning her career-high world No. 2 ranking in June, the Estonian has struggled to build momentum on the hard courts after Wimbledon. She posted early exits in Toronto and Cincinnati in the build up to the US Open.

With today’s victory, Kontaveit improved to 25-13 on the season. If she could add one more to that tally when she faces Serena on Wednesday, she could herself earn a spot in the tennis history books, too.