Anett Kontaveit out of US Open after round two loss to Serena Williams

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Anett Kontaveit and Serena Williams
Anett Kontaveit and Serena Williams Source: SCANPIX/USA TODAY Sports/AP

Anett Kontaveit lost in three sets in a lengthy US Open round two encounter with former number one and 23-time grand slam winner Serena Williams, 7:6 (4), 2:6, 6:2.

Playing in her swansong tournament and as the rank favorite in front of a partisan home crowd, Williams said that she was: "In no rush."

"I love this crowd, it's fantastic," she continued, perhaps unsurprisingly.

"I like a challenge. I haven't played much, but I've been training pretty well and now everything is slowly starting to work," Williams, who reached round two of Wimbledon earlier in the summer, continued. "When I lost the second set, I thought I had to do my best because that could be it. I had to work hard and keep trying."

I haven't been able to play like this since 1998. I can just enjoy myself, it's been a long time," she continued.

In round one, Kontaveit overcame Jaqueline Cristiani of Romania in straight sets, 6:3, 6:0 in windy conditions at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center , setting herself up with the match with Williams, who defeated Danka Kovinic of Montenegro in her opening round game.

Ahead of the game, Kontaveit said: "I'm very excited! I was really hoping she would win, I've never played against her before, and this is my last chance! Better late than never!"

In set one, both players worked hard to rescue their service from break points, and things were soon 3:3, though later on in the set, the pair traded break points until the set went to a tie break, which Williams won, taking the set 7:6 (4).

In set two, Kontaveit raced to a 3:0 lead, and while she lost her service in the very next games, she broke Williams' serve again to take things to 4:1. Thereafter it was a case of hanging on until she took the set 6:2.

In the decider, Kontaveit was far less dominant, going down 2:0 in the first two games and soon trailing 5:2. She then failed to win a single point in her next game, despite serving, giving the set 6:2 to the veteran star and with it the match.

The entire encounter lasted two-and-a-half hours.

Williams served up 11 aces to Kontaveit's five, and commited six double faults, whereas Kontaveit again committed five. The American's first service percentage rate was 64 percent to the Estonian's 59 percent, and she won 73 percent of points on her first serve, compared with 69 percent for Kontaveit.

On the second serve, Kontaveit was stronger, winning 50 percent of the time compared with Williams' 40 percent.

Both players converted five of the 11 breakpoints presented to them.

Post-match, Kontaveit said: "She played amazingly. "I don't think I had a bad game at all. She definitely upped her level in the third set."

Of the 30,000 (approx.) spectators, all vying for Williams, Kontaveit said: "It was her moment," Kontaveit said. "I was trying to play my part. Of course, it was all about her, and I was very aware of that."

"When I was younger, I watched her play, and she completely dominated women's tennis," Kontaveit, who had matched her career-best progress at the US Open so far, added.

Williams, who has now prevailed in her last eight matches against the world number two at that point in time, next faces Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia.

This article was updated to incorporate quotes from Anett Kontaveit.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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