Tennis legend Serena Williams recently announced that she is leaving tennis and will likely play in her last U.S. Open tennis tournament this year.
Williams is playing against Danka Kovinic, a 27-year old from Montenegro who is the 80th-ranked women’s tennis player in the world in the first round of the U.S. Open. The match will start Monday, Aug. 29, at approximately 7 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.
Williams, who is married to Reddit co-founder and executive chairman Alexis Ohanian and has a 4-year-old daughter with Ohanian, says she’ll focus on spending time with her family and working with her venture-capital firm Serena Ventures when she is done playing tennis.
“I have never liked the word ‘retirement,’” Williams said in a recent Vogue article announcing her future plans. “Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is ‘evolution.’ I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.”
Williams is one of the greatest athletes of all time, regardless of sport. She has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles — the most of any man or woman in the Open Era, which began in 1968.
As the U.S. Open drew closer, ticket prices for the tournament, and Williams’ match in particular, skyrocketed.
According to ticketing and marketing analytics company TicketIQ, the secondary market average ticket price for this year’s U.S. Open is $440, up 45% since Williams’ retirement announcement earlier this month.
Ticket prices for Williams’ opening match, since it was announced on Aug. 25, have jumped over 300%. The average secondary market ticket price is listed at $987 according to TicketIQ, the most expensive opening-round session at the U.S. Open since the company began tracking in 2011.