‘Just Serena’: Williams’ upset win at US Open keeps the legend advancing in final days of her storied career
By Domenica Scott
Dec. 14, 2018
In Game One of the 2018 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Saturday morning, 22-year-old Serena Williams was still the greatest female tennis player of all time, a two-time grand slam winner who had won 16 major singles titles, including the 2017 U.S. Open and 2016 Australian Open. But just as she was closing her win, a new challenger arrived on the court in the form of 15-year-old Madison Keys.
The first quarterfinal of the US Open was a battle of tennis champions.
“The biggest thing about coming into the U.S. Open, you could see on her game is like, ‘Oh my gosh, this girl is going to be trouble,’ and I am going to get that opportunity,” Williams said. “That was my motivation to be the No. 1.”
It was that “trouble” with Keys, who’s a 13-year-old who’s only competed on the Futures circuit before, that had the fans in the stands cheering as she defeated Williams, 6-4, 6-1, in a match that was as much about Serena as it was about Keys.
But what could also be a “big game” was the fact that Keys was the only woman to defeat Williams when she entered the tournament a few weeks ago. And the only woman to defeat Williams on Sunday, when she was the only man on the court — and thus entered the final day as the favorite — and still lose. At a time when a lot of athletes and coaches are praising her as the greatest tennis player of all time, Keys, when she was a toddler, told the LA Times that she was the “top girls player” ever, and she is now.
“The first week was so strange. I remember waking up and feeling so excited, and I think that was probably because I had