Serena Williams played the second match on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Day 2 at the US Open. It turned out to be a particularly tough assignment because Andy Murray decided to pull a Houdini and save a match point before going on to win a four hour and 39-minute epic against Yoshihito Nishioka.
That means that the 23-time Grand Slam champion was forced to get ready, sit down and get ready again. She eventually made it to the court and defeated Kristie Ahn 7-5 6-3 to reach the second round, and at the end of her long day she headed to press and told reporters that she didn’t mind waiting for Murray’s match at all.
In fact, she was delighted that her former mixed doubles partner was able to gut out the win.
“Usually when you’re waiting for a match, someone is down two sets, you root for the person that’s ahead so you can get on the court and get off,” Williams said. “I was rooting for Andy the whole time. I really wanted him to win. Gosh, when he was down in the third set, I was like, ‘All right.’ I was just rooting for him so hard.”
Williams said she had a hunch that Murray might take it the distance.
“I saw him give the racquet to his trainer,” she said. “There’s Andy, he plans on playing five sets here. I was really happy for him.”
Serena admires the same character traits about Murray that many fans admire.
“I love his grit,” she said. “I’ve always loved that, way before we played doubles. I always said he reminds me a lot of myself. I’m just a big fan. It was really good because I know what it’s like to be down, I know what it’s like to be injured, I know what it’s like to be counted out. I felt like it was a real gutsy win for him and I was really happy.”
Photo credit: Patrick Mouratoglou Instagram