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Serena Williams returns a ball to Anett Kontaveit of Estonia during her second-round match at the 2022 U.S. Open on Wednesday the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/eff68c60aa2c34a4335cf7cdb4f18b2e/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>

Serena Williams returns a ball to Anett Kontaveit of Estonia during her second-round match at the 2022 U.S. Open on Wednesday the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 1 (UPI) — Serena Williams said a bathroom break helped her get “lighter” after the second set of her match against Anett Kontaveit and led to improved energy to finish out the second-round upset at the 2022 U.S. Open.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion told reporters about the sequence during his post-match news conference Wednesday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.

Williams beat Kontaveit 7-6(4) in the first set of the match. Kontaveit rallied with a 6-2 victory in the second set, which forced a decisive third set. Williams appeared a bit slower during the second set and was unable to return several Kontaveit shots.

She emerged from the stadium tunnel in the third set and appeared to raise her energy level. Williams won the set 6-2 to earn the upset victory and advance to the third round.

“I just got lighter,” Williams told reporters, when asked about the break. “Use your imagination. But it wasn’t No. 2.”

Williams fired 11 aces and 38 winners in the victory. Her second-seeded Estonian counterpart totaled five aces and 32 winners. Kontaveit and Williams each converted five break points in the 2-hour, 27-minute match.

Williams will face Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia in her next match Friday, as she looks to continue her run at the final major tournament of her career.

The winner of the Williams-Tomljanovic match will advance to face Russian Liudmila Samsonova or Serbian Aleksandra Krunic for a spot in the quarterfinals.

Samsonova upset No. 14 Leylah Fernandez of Canada in straight sets Wednesday in Flushing. Krunic upset No. 23 Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic in her second-round match.

Williams and Tomljanovic are scheduled to meet for the first time.

“She has been playing really intense and I’ve been watching her a lot,” Williams said of Tomljanovic. “I saw her play a week and a-half ago. She has been through a lot of injuries, so I respect that. I think it’s going to be a good match.

“It’s good she wants to play me. I have to be ready for every match.”

Second-round coverage will continue at 11 a.m. EDT Thursday on ESPN Deportes and pick up at noon on ESPN. Additional coverage will air at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.

Third-round coverage will start at 11 a.m. Friday on ESPN Deportes and continue at noon on ESPN and 6 p.m. on ESPN2. The U.S. Open women’s singles final will be Sept. 10. The men’s singles final will be Sept. 11.

Serena Williams celebrates after winning a point against Anett Kontaveit of Estonia before defeating her in 3 sets at the 2022 U.S. Open Tennis Championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City on August 31, 2022. Williams will face Aja Tomljanovic of Australia in the next round. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo



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