Danka Kovinic acknowledged that Serena Williams definitely hits hard, but added that she «expected stronger balls in rallies.» On Monday, Kovinic suffered a 6-3, 6-3 loss to Williams in front of a sold-out Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The match broke the attendance record at the US Open when 29,402 people turned out to watch Williams’ first-round match at her final tournament. Although Kovinic failed to beat Williams, he described playing the 23-time Grand Slam champion in such an atmosphere as a «dream experience».
Kovinic on playing Williams
«I expected stronger balls in rallies,» Kovinic said after the loss, according to Tennis Majors. “I mean, she definitely hits hard. You can see it in her returns or some backhand down the lines where he didn’t expect her to make that shot, but it was a very clear and very strong shot.
Sometimes I found myself standing far behind the baseline. But then at rallies, like I said, I expected her to be more aggressive. Maybe it’s a night session, maybe this court is a little slower than the outside ones.
I can’t, you know, compare these two. What I felt tonight is that you can have good rallies with Serena. He is not as crazy as he sometimes seems on television. It is perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play Serena, especially in a night session match against Arthur Ashe, an experience I could only think about and perhaps dream of in my entire career.”
Williams started the match with an early 2-0 lead, but Kovinic responded with back-to-back breaks and took a 3-2 lead. After Kovinic went up for a break, Williams responded with back-to-back breaks to win the next four games and take the first set.
Kovinic continued to struggle on serve in the second set. Williams broke the Montenegro player twice to complete a straight-set victory.