Billie Jean King pays touching tribute to Serena Williams

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Billie Jean King pays touching tribute to Serena Williams

WTA founder Billie Jean King said Serena Williams' serve looked beautiful when they first met and added that nothing has changed 35 years later. On Monday, Williams kicked off her final US Open by beating Danka Kovinic 6-3 6-3.

After the match, the Us Open played a special video montage they put together for Williams. King was present and was one of the guests that gave a speech. "We first met in April of 1988, when she was six years old and her sister was seven years old at a tennis clinic where we had 1200 kids in Long Beach, California.

I'll never forget that day. Here are these two kids that come out, so we have them hit and then I had Serena hit. And then I said, can you serve? She says ‘Yeah, I can serve.’ I said ‘can I see it, please? Can we all see it?’ And mama Oracene [Price] was there.

Anyway, Serena serves and I told her don't change a thing. And we saw that tonight. Her serve is by far the most beautiful serve ever in the history of our sport" King said, via Sportskeeda.

King to Williams: You are fearless and hate to lose

Williams is a 23-time Grand Slam champion and is set to go down as one of the greatest and most accomplished athletes in tennis history.

With Williams retiring after the US Open, King thanked the American for her contributions to tennis and wished her all the best in the next chapter of her life. "You are fearless, I love it and you hate the lose, it is great.

You've touched our hearts and minds to be our authentic selves, to use our voices to dream big. Thank you for your leadership and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, especially for women and women of color. Most of all, thank you for sharing your journey with every single one of us.

We love you. God bless you. And guess what? You're just beginning!" King added. Williams plays second-seeded Anett Kontaveit in the US Open second round.

Billie Jean King Serena Williams Us Open