Danka Kovinic acknowledged that Serena Williams definitely hits strong but added that she "expected stronger balls in the 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 as 29,402 people came out to watch Williams' first round match in her final tournament. Even though Kovinic didn't manage to beat Williams, she described playing the 23-time Grand Slam champion in such atmosphere as a "dream experience."
Kovinic on playing Williams
“I expected stronger balls in the rallies”, Kovinic said after the loss, per Tennis Majors. “I mean, definitely she hits strong. You can see from her returns or some backhand down the lines where I didn’t expect she’s going to make that shot, but it was really clear shot and very strong.
Sometimes I found myself standing far way behind baseline. But then in the rallies, as I said, I expected for her to be more aggressive. Maybe it’s night session, maybe this court is a little bit slower than the outer ones.
I cannot, you know, compare these two. What I had feeling tonight is that you can have good rallies with Serena. It’s not that crazy as sometimes it seems on TV. It’s maybe one opportunity in a lifetime to play against Serena, especially in a night session match on Arthur Ashe, an experience that I only could think of and dream of maybe 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 by 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 her serve in the second set Williams broke the Montenegro player twice to complete a straight-set win.