Serena Williams, playing in what is likely to be the last tennis tournament of her storied career, opened the singles with a 6-3, 6-3 first-round victory over Danka Kovinić of the US Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Williams opens the doubles with her sister Venus on Wednesday.
Williams will face the world No. 2, Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit, in the round of 64, also on Wednesday. It will be their first career meeting.
After an early struggle with her serve Monday night, Williams took 10 of their last 13 games against Kovinić, a 27-year-old from Montenegro who is 80th in the world.
After the match, at a ceremony honoring her tennis career, Williams said she got a boost from the vocal crowd of nearly 24,000 people.
It was Williams’ third game since announcing that she will “evolve away from tennis”.
“I never liked the word pension. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. I see this as a transition, but I want to be careful how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people,” Williams said in a Vogue article published earlier this month.
“Perhaps evolution is the best word to describe what I’m up to. I’m here to tell you that I’m moving from tennis to other things that are important to me,” she said.