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Serena Williams Advances to Next Round of US Open

23-time major champion Serena Willaims pulled off a 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-2 upset in the second round of the US Open on Wednesday night at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Earlier last month, Williams announced her plans to “evolve” from tennis in a first-person essay in Vogue, citing her desire to grow her family. However, since her initial reveal, Williams has received countless tributes and ovations, and her matches have outstandingly become must-see events for both celebrities and TV viewers.

On Wednesday, there happened to be an equally star-studded affair with Tiger Woods, Dionne Warwick, Anna Wintour, Zendaya, Spike Lee, Gladys Knight, Seal, and Anthony Anderson in attendance. Woods, whom Willaims credited in her Vogue essay for inspiring her to return to the sport in spring after a year away, was seated in her player box, as was Wintour. 

According to ESPN, an average of 2.17 million viewers tuned in to ESPN for her match Monday night – almost four times higher than the comparable time slot earned in 2021 and a record number of fans on the grounds. 

Another milestone was set at the tournament on Wednesday, with 29,959 fans entering the National Tennis Center. It was the second such record set in three evenings, breaking Monday’s 29,402 mark. 

An on-court ceremony hosted by Gayle Night and featuring a video narrated by Oprah Winfrey, happened in honor of Williams’s career. 

This win counts as Willaims 367th victory at a Grand Slam, extending her record among women, and her 103rd win at Arthur Ashe Stadium, the most by any player on the court. 

Williams later made remarks on the court, stating, “I just feel like I have had a big red X on my back since I won the US Open in ‘99. It’s been there my entire career because I won my first Grand Slam early in my career. But here, it’s different. I feel like I’ve already won, figuratively and mentally. It’s just pretty awesome the things I’ve done.”

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