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US Open: Like Serena, Like Olympia

By Rediff Sports
August 30, 2022 14:39 IST
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IMAGE: Alexis Olympia Ohanian donned braids with white beads on them, just as her mother Serena did when she first won the US Open as a teenager in 1999. Photograph: Al Bello/Getty Images
 

Serena Williams held centre stage on the opening day of the 2022 US Open at the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday.

Serena, who three weeks ago announced her forthcoming retirement from tennis, became only the fourth woman in the Open Era to win matches in her teens, 20s, 30s and 40s, advancing to the second round with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over 80th ranked Danka Kovinic of Montenegro.

Serena, who joined her sister Venus Williams, Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova and Japan's Kimiko Date in matching the feat, also kept her perfect first-round record intact at Flushing Meadows, improving to a spotless 21-0.

IMAGE: Serena with daughter Olympia, husband Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian and sister Isha Price after winning her first round match. Photograph: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Watching her attain the milestone from courtside was daughter Olympia. She donned braids with white beads on them, just as her mother did when she first won the US Open as a teenager in 1999.

Olympia also sported a black bedazzled top which matched the one her mother wore on court for the match.

Olympia -- whose full name is Alexis Olympia Ohanian -- was seated in Serena's player guest box with her father, Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and grandmother Oracene Price. While watching mom play she kept playing with aunt Isha Price's hair, sitting in her father's lap and cheering her mother.

'It was either her wear beads or me, so...' Williams said after the match. 'I wanted to do it, but I just didn't have the time.'

IMAGE: Alexis Ohanian and daughter Olympia in the stands. Photograph: Al Bello/Getty Images

Williams was pregnant with Olympia while playing in, and winning, the 2017 Australian Open for her 23rd Grand Slam title.

Olympia was born later that year and turns 5 on Thursday, September 1, 25 days before her mom turns 41 on September 26.

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