Williams’ second-round started off well, winning a tiebreak 7-4 to take the first set 7-6. However, Kontaveit asserted herself, seeing Williams lose the second set 2-6. In the decisive final set, Serena dug deep and won 6-2 to move on to the third round.
Golf’s 15-time major champion Woods was spotted alongside girlfriend Erica Herman in the stands of the famous Arthur Ashe court at Flushing Meadows.
The two were later joined by Williams’ sister, Venus, who is set to begin women’s doubles play with Serena on Thursday.
Elsewhere in the stands of Arthur Ashe were Vogue editor Anna Wintour, a tennis aficionado who was also in the crowd on Monday for Serena’s first round match. Film director Spike Lee also made his second appearance at one of Williams’ matches this tournament.
Actress Zendaya was spotted in the stands of Arthur Ashe for the first time this tournament.
Zendaya, who enjoys global fame as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, had brought her mother Claire Stoermer and assistant Darnell Appling with her.
Model Gigi Hadid was joined by sister and fellow model Bella, who had also been among the star-studded crowd for Williams’ opening triumph.
English crooner Seal, who famously used to be married to Heidi Klum, was another one of the wide variety of celebs glimpsed in the stands.
Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian was without their daughter Olympia this time, but still cheered on his wife with other members of her family.
Tiger Woods alongside girlfriend Erica Herman watches Serena Williams in action at US Open
The pair were later joined by Venus Williams who will play doubles with Serena tomorrow
Anna Wintour was also in the crowd for Williams’ second-round match at Flushing Meadows
Actress and singer Zendaya watched on at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows
Zendaya, who enjoys global fame as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, had brought her mother Claire Stoermer with her into the star-studded audience
Both mother and daughter seemed fully invested in the match, with Claire rising to her feet apparently to get a better view and Zendaya capturing the proceedings on her phone
The pair reacted enthusiastically to the developments down below
Zendaya’s assistant Darnell Appling could be glimpsed on the other side of her from her mother
Models Gigi (L) and Bella Hadid (R) watch on during Williams’ match against Anett Kontaveit
The supermodel sisters looked to be thoroughly enjoying the event, with Bella seen laughing and leaning on Gigi, who enjoyed a snack with the spectacle
Gigi threw herself into the spirit of the occasion with full enthusiasm
English crooner Seal, who famously used to be married to Heidi Klum, was another one of the wide variety of celebs glimpsed in the stands
Film director Spike Lee reacts as he watched the tennis all-time great on Wednesday
Serena Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian watches on as she played her second round match
Tennis legend Billie Jean King wears Williams’ favorite color, pink, again in tribute to the star
23-time Grand Slam winner announced she is ‘evolving’ away from tennis earlier this month
Having previously announced her intention to ‘evolve’ away from tennis (don’t say ‘retirement’), many expected that she could bring the curtain down on her illustrious career at Flushing Meadows but the star was not quite ready to take her final bow.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion knocked out No. 2 seed Kontaveit 7-6 2-6 6-2 in a three-set thriller Wednesday night to set up a third-round match against Australia’s Alja Tomljanovic.
The World No. 2 proved to be a tougher challenge than Williams’ opening opponent, Danka Kovinic.
The 40-year-old tennis legend progressed to the third round after a three-set thriller
The American knocked second seed Anett Kontaveit out of the US Open on Wednesday
Equipped with a strong serve and baseline strokes that have acquired greater velocity in recent seasons, she always possessed the firepower to test out the 40 year-old’s movement.
But after a second-set loss – and a bathroom break – Williams bounced back to show glimpses of her former glorious self to snatch victory in the decider.
Williams had breezed by her first-round opponent, Montenegro’s Kovinic, 6-3, 6-3, in Queens on Monday night.
That match also saw a whole host of celebrities come out, including Vera Wang, Mike Tyson, Hugh Jackman, Bill Clinton, Anthony Anderson, Huma Abedin, Spike Lee, Rebel Wilson, Lindsey Vonn, and New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor.
Actor Hugh Jackman (C) watches Serena Williams play Danka Kovinic of Montenegro Monday
Former US President Bill Clinton (C) watches Williams’ opening triumph against Kovinic
Mike Tyson (middle center) was seen alongside tennis legend, Martina Navratilova (right)
Vera Wang looks on prior to Williams’ opening triumph over Kovinic of Montenegro on Monday
Actor Anthony Anderson (right) is seen prior to the first-round clash on Day One of the event
Olympic Gold alpine skier Lindsey Vonn (right) cheered on her fellow athlete on Monday
In the first-round match at what is expected to be her last US Open – and last tournament – of a remarkable playing career, Williams overcame a shaky start to overwhelm Kovinic in straight sets.
Early, Williams was not at her best. There were double-faults. Other missed strokes, missed opportunities. She went up 2-0, but then quickly trailed 3-2. Then, suddenly, Williams, less than a month from turning 41, looked a lot more like someone with six championships at Flushing Meadows and 23 Grand Slam titles in all – numbers never exceeded by anyone in the professional era of tennis, which began in 1968.
She rolled through the end of that opening set, capping it with a service winner she reacted to with clenched fists and her trademark cry of ‘Come on!’ The more than 23,000 in attendance rose for a raucous standing ovation – and did so again when the 1-hour, 40-minute contest was over, celebrating as if another trophy had been earned.