NEW YORK -- Serena Williams' first-round match at the US Open was electric. Playing her final tournament, the six-time US Open champion came through a gritty effort to defeat Danka Kovinic 6-3, 6-3 to advance to the second round. She faces No.2 Anett Konteveit on Wednesday. 

Opening night on Arthur Ashe Stadium began with a beautiful rendition of "One Moment in Time" by the Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York. After Broadway star Anika Noni Rose wowed the crowd with the National Anthem, Williams and Kovinic took to the court. 

Director Spike Lee assisted with the coin toss before the match.

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Anna Wintour, Editor-in-chief at Vogue Magazine, was in the crowd for the evening.

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With her family in her supporter's box and stars and icons of industry littered throughout the record-breaking sell-out crowd, Williams rode the wave of love and support to victory.

"I really want to watch this match," said No.5 Ons Jabeur after her opening win on Day 1. "I'm supporting Serena. I have to. She's really amazing. I hope she could win as many matches as she can. It's just amazing."

Coco Gauff initially thought she would be taking in the match from her hotel room. Then she had a change of heart. 

"I was stretching, and, I was like, I have been coming to the US Open since I was eight years old, every year, haven't missed a year," Gauff said after posting her first ever win on Ashe. "Went from watching to playing, which is cool. We only really came to see Serena or Venus, to be honest. 

"So then I was like this is her final match. I feel like eight-year-old me would want to see this. Because I'm in the tournament usually I don't like to stay at the site but this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So I said, I've gotta go and I heard that something special is going to happen."

Here's the best from social media to encapsulate a night to remember:

Billie Jean King greets Serena Williams on court after the match.

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Serena Williams and Danka Kovinic helped set a record attendance mark for a US Open night session with 29,402 on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

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