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Serena Williams wins second round of US Open, beats No. 2 seed

Williams is due back on the court Thursday for a doubles match with her sister, Venus, against Linda Nosková and Lucie Hradecká of Czech Republic.
/ Source: TODAY

Icon Serena Williams survived the second round of the U.S. Open on Wednesday night, defeating Estonian player Anett Kontaveit.

It was a suspenseful match, with Williams winning the first set and Kontaveit taking the second.

For the final set, Williams took the early lead and hung on to take Kontaveit, 26, out of the running for a final score of 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-2.

Kontaveit was the No. 2 seed in the tournament.

2022 US Open - Day 3
Williams plays a backhand against Kontaveit.Mike Stobe / Getty Images

Williams, 40, won in her first round of the U.S. Open against Danka Kovinic on Monday.

Following both matches, she was honored for being the “greatest of all time” in the sport with a video narrated by Oprah Winfrey.

Williams has stated that while she doesn't like the word retirement, she is evolving away from tennis following this year's U.S. Open.

“I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me,” Williams wrote in an essay for Vogue published earlier this month. “...Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution. I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.”

In a post-match interview on Wednesday night, Williams said she is taking her time stepping back from the sport.

“It’s no rush here, I’m loving this crowd,” she said. “There’s still a little left in me. We’ll see.”

When asked how she was able to beat the number two ranked player in the world, she quipped that she is still "a pretty good player. This is what I do best."

Adding that she loves a challenge, she chuckled when she was asked if she was surprised she was able to win.

"I'm just Serena, you know," she said with a laugh.

"Honestly, I'm just looking at it as a bonus, I don't have anything to prove, I don't have anything to win," she said as the crowd cheered. "And I have absolutely nothing to lose."

In addition to her doubles match on Thursday, Williams will play Ajla Tomljanović, 29, who is Croatian-Australian, in the third round of women's singles on Friday.