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US Open 2022: Serena Williams will inspire generations to come, says Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan

Serena Williams

Bengaluru, September 3: Though Serena Williams' farewell journey ended with a third-round loss to Ajla Tomljanovic at US Open 2022, Indian tennis ace Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan believes the American tennis great's legacy will continue to inspire the coming generations.

After two hard-fought matches, Serena was back under lights on Friday (September 2) night in front of a sell-out crowd at the Arthur Ashe Stadium against her Croatian-born Australian opponent.

The 40-year-old fought hard again before going down 5-7, 7-6 (7-4), 1-6 in a thrilling contest which lasted three hours and seven minutes in what could probably be the last singles match of her illustrious tennis career.

"To exhibit this kind of form in the twilight of your career in what could probably be her last tournament is just fantastic. What Serena Williams is doing right now to the women's tennis and the sport in general can't be compared to anything else," Jeevan told a group of invited journalists in a virtual media interaction hosted by Sony Sports Network, who have the exclusive broadcast rights of US Open 2022 in India.

It may be recalled on August 9, Serena had announced to the world that she was getting ready to step away from her playing career, leaving unclear exactly when the end would be, although she hinted it could come at the US Open 2022

At US Open 2022, Serena began her WTA Tour farewell on a sound note, defeating unheralded Montenegrin Danka Kovinic 6-3, 6-3 in the opening round.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion then extended her farewell journey by shocking Estonia's world No. 2 Anett Kontaveit 7-6 (74), 2-6, 6-3 in a thrilling second-round tie that lasted 2hrs and 27min.

She seemed like doing an encore against world Tomljanavoc, but the world No.46 proved too good to her.

Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan

"Serena's biggest competition was within herself. It has got nothing to do with the mental frame of mind. It all came down to far her physical condition. She could've gone all the way had her body allowed.

"But she still did well enough to progress thus far. Playing two weeks of Grand Slam tennis at this age was her biggest obstacle. But credit to her. Serena is a legend. She's 40-plus and this sport is extremely demanding for both men and women, especially on hard-courts. The impact on your body is very high, especially on your joints. Now are we really surprised? Afterall it's Serena! Time and again she has proved why she's the greatest player," he added.

While Serena's performance in her recent comeback tournaments have been not that impressive, she gave a good account of herself at Flushing Meadows in the last Grand Slam of the year, for which Jeevan had this to say.

"In her previous tournaments, Serena didn't look that mobile on the court. That's what what I felt. But at US Open 2022, her movement looked great. Her mental aspect was head and shoulders above everybody in the draw, especially considering her age. We'll miss her for sure," Jeevan signed off.

The LIVE coverage of the US Open 2022 is on SONY SIX & SONY TEN 2 channels from August 29. The LIVE coverage of Quarterfinals from September 6 will be on SONY TEN 2 (English), SONY TEN 3 (Hindi), and SONY TEN 4 (Tamil & Telugu) channels.

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Story first published: Saturday, September 3, 2022, 11:13 [IST]
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