The tennis world has reacted with disdain for the US Open crowd attending the Serena Williams match after many boisterously cheered on double faults from Danka Kovinic.
Williams took to Arthur Ashe Stadium to a huge applause as she started the final grand slam tournament of her glittering career.
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The tennis icon even sported a stunning diamond-encrusted outfit for her final appearance in New York.
Williams was inspired by the raucous home crowd as she defeated a nervy Kovinic 6-3, 6-3 to extend her farewell grand slam tournament for at least one more match.
However, the vociferous home support for Williams may have crossed the line after viewers called out fans cheering every Kovinic double fault.
Both Williams and Kovinic were nervous in an electric atmosphere.
The American support cheered every Williams point in the one hour and 39 minute battle.
And during the contest, Kovinic served eight double faults.
Crowds often avoid cheering after a player's double fault, which is seen at tennis etiquette.
However, the American support cheered Kovinic's mistakes in an effort to will Williams over the line.
This prompted an angry response from some viewers watching the historic match.
While others defended the behaviour due to the special circumstances surrounding the spectacle.
It's embarrassing from the crowd. They should at least show some to respect to Kovinic. I understand that it's Serena's last tournament and they want to support her as much as possible but applauding double faults is poor and never necessary.
— Sam Innes (@sam_innes19) August 30, 2022
Cheering on kovinićs double faults is disgusting, and I’m not kovinics fan at all
— shabaduhh (@shabaduhh) August 30, 2022
That’s the US Open you know. It’s ok if it’s not loud but last year med vs djo was horrible
— Franco Bossé (@BosseFranco05) August 30, 2022
People complaining about the crowd applauding Kovinic’s errors and double faults, when is that same energy when the crowd does the same for Federer or Nadal?
— Roberta (@Rob_cacci) August 30, 2022
Danka Kovinic is going through it with these double faults you guys. I feel sorry for her
— Latifat Adebayo Ohio (@Phatill) August 30, 2022
Full throated cheering after double faults is messed up....but we want Serena to win so it is what it is
— DT3 (@dabigjoker) August 30, 2022
Comes with the territory but cheering double faults or missing a first serve is definitely trashy by the crowd.
— varesident01 (@varesident01) August 30, 2022
Happens every year at the majors and I wince every time. Cheering double faults, making noise between first and second serve… Hate it.
— Sarah (@Sarah_Oestreich) August 30, 2022
You have to realize that at this stage they’re just cheering for every point that Serena gets, regardless of how she gets it. They’re not cheering for faults and double faults per se. they’re cheering for Serena. I’m sure all of Serena’s opponents understand this.
— KhulisaC (@KhulisaC) August 30, 2022
Serena Williams wins first round US Open match
Regardless, Williams marched on to the second round to continue her farewell tour.
The American champion was simply introduced as the 'greatest of all time' during her walkout to face Kovinic on Arthur Ashe Stadium in front of a raucous home crowd.
Despite her struggles of late, Williams started the match like a player possessed as she drew on the energy of the home crowd to race out to a 2-0 lead.
However, the 40-year-old's serve began to desert her as Kovinić grabbed her first break of the match to get back into the contest.
A double fault from Williams handed the World No.80 her second break as the Montenegrin turned an early deficit into a 3-2 lead.
Williams never looked back as she won the first set and broke early in the second to put her first round match behind her.
Williams will now face World No.2 Anett Kontaveit in the second round encounter.
She also has her first round doubles match, with sister Venus Williams, to play.
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