Serena Williams showed she was determined to end her glittering athletic career in style – in both tennis and fashion – waltzed onto the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium looking like a rock star and walked away with a second game ahead of her.
In front of a crowd of 25,000 celebrities, Williams arrived to chants of “GOAT” and appeared every inch the queen of tennis glamor in a jaw-dropping, tailored Nike gown with a crystal-encrusted bodice and train, apparently inspired by figure skaters. .
Her daughter Olympia, watching from the stands, sported a mini-me version of the dress, complete with white pearls – which her mother had worn when she first appeared at Flushing Meadows in 1998.
Williams, 40, who announced her retirement – without using the word – in a Vogue interview earlier this month looked sensational in the shimmering all-black tennis outfit, which included a skirt made up of six layers – to represent each of his six US Open wins.
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GOAT outfit: Serena Williams took to the court in a jaw-dropping all-black outfit featuring a glittering train, gold lace tags, diamond-encrusted Nike tags on her shoes and crystals in her hair
Nike said the star, who announced his retirement earlier this month, provided “the full vision” for the exciting design, which was said to be inspired by figure skaters.
Glamour: Serena Williams beat Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic (6-3, 6-3) in the first round of the US Open on Monday night, wearing crystals in her hair and PE NikeCourt Flare 2, which included a diamond-encrusted Swoosh, as well as the deubrés lace in solid gold
The star admitted in the post-match interview at Flushing Meadows after beating Montenegrin Danka Kovinić 6-3, 6-3 that she had to remove four of said layers to play comfortably.
Nike’s kit designers have been quick to ensure that Williams’ final on-pitch outfit is one to remember.
The brand worked with star and designers at her jewelry company Serena Williams, with diamonds on her shoes, crystals running through her hair and jewels encrusted on the bridal-style train and sheer tennis dress – inspired by the night sky’ she wore to dispatch Kovinić in straight sets.
In an on-court interview after the match with a gushing Gayle King, she admitted, “I had six layers to represent the six wins, but I took four off because it was too heavy.”
Before the tournament started, the star collaborated with Nike on the final kit, with the brand saying Williams ‘provided the full vision and dialed in the details for an exciting design created to make her feel comfortable and confident’ .
His shoes were NikeCourt Flare 2 PEs, which featured a diamond-encrusted Swoosh, along with solid gold lace deubers.
In the stands, Serena’s almost five-year-old daughter Olympia wore white pearls, which Serena sported when she first appeared at the tournament as a teenager, and a mini-me version of her mother’s sparkly outfit.
Serena’s husband, Alexis Ohanian, sat next to one of the evening’s biggest celebrities, the couple’s daughter, Olympia – who wore white pearls, which Serena sported in her first tournament appearance at the adolescence.
Serena Williams picked up an easy first-round victory over Danka Kovinic of Montenegro on Monday night in Flushing, Queens
Serena Williams celebrates after defeating Danka Kovinic of Montenegro on Monday night in New York
The game was New York City’s hottest ticket on Monday, with a star-studded crowd at New York’s Arthur Ashe Stadium, where Vera Wang, Mike Tyson, Hugh Jackman, Anna Wintour and even Bill Clinton were all in attendance to see Serena Williams starts her last US Open with an easy victory.
Anthony Anderson, Huma Abedin, Spike Lee, Rebel Wilson, Lindsey Vonn and New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor were also in attendance, as was Mayor Eric Adams.
Williams couldn’t have picked a better place to start her farewell than Flushing, where she won six singles titles and a pair of doubles crowns in front of New York celebrities, many of whom were seen seated together on Monday night.
People hold up signs that read ‘We love you Serena’ at a ceremony after her US Open first-round win
Mike Tyson was seen alongside retired tennis legend Martina Navratilova and her well-behaved pet dog
nna Wintour looks on before the match between Serena Williams and Danika Kovinic of Montenegro on Monday in Queens
Tyson sat alongside retired tennis legend Martina Navratilova and her well-behaved pet dog, while Clinton was curiously seated next to Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the famous German-American sex therapist and talk show host . And of course, Serena’s billionaire husband, Alexis Ohanian, was pictured next to one of the evening’s biggest celebrities, the couple’s four-year-old daughter, Olympia.
Naturally, the request to see Williams one last time was historic. The average resale ticket price for this year’s US Open has risen 68% to $512 since the announcement of Williams’ retirement, according to ticketing and marketing analytics firm TicketIQ.
Actor Hugh Jackman (C) watches Serena Williams take on Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic in their first round match
Curiously, Bill Clinton was seen sitting next to German-American sex therapist and talk show host Dr Ruth Westheimer
Meanwhile, secondary market ticket prices for Monday’s first-round match soared 300%, with the average ticket price hitting $987 – a record high since TicketIQ started tracking data in 2011.
And of course, those fans weren’t paying to watch Kovinic, who faced Williams and the entire Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday.
“The crowd was crazy,” Williams said during his post-match ceremony. “They really helped me out. I was really pumped up, like, ‘Yeah, I get it.’
“I just want people to think how hard we try,” Williams continued, speaking to CBS’ Gayle King. “It’s so important to give it your all, no matter what you do, how many obstacles you face. I’ve been down so many times, in the public eye, and had to come back… but don’t give up. never.
“It sounds cliché, but no matter what you’re going through, I just want people to be inspired by my story. I’m from Compton, California, and I’ve been successful.