U.S. tennis great and 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams will play against Danka Kovinić of Montenegro in her first match of the U.S. Open on Aug. 29. Kovinić has earned a net worth of about $5 million playing tennis and is ranked 80th in the Women’s Tennis Association.
Montenegrin Professional Tennis Player
Net worth: $5 Million
Danka Kovinić will be the first opponent to face U.S. tennis champ Serena Williams in next week's U.S. Open. Kovinić is unseeded and ranked No. 80 in the WTA. She has been to the U.S. Open four times but never made it past the second round.
Birthplace: Cetinje, Montenegro
Kovinić has been playing professional tennis since 2010. Although she has played in the U.S. Open four times, she has never been past the second round. This is the first time she will play Williams in singles.
Kovinić has wanted to play tennis since she was five.
Kovinić was raised in the picturesque country of Montenegro. In a 2021 interview with Tennis Majors, Kovinić said she started asking her parents to enroll her in the local tennis club when she was only five years old. She got her wish two years later.
“You could see me all the time in the entrance of our building hitting a sponge ball with a plastic racquet,” Kovinić told Tennis Majors. “I think my mom still keeps that racquet somewhere in the house.”
When she was 10, Kovinić moved with her parents to the Serbian capital city of Belgrade. There, she enlisted tennis coach Veljko Radojicic to help her with her game. Radojicic’s coaching paid off, and in 2016, Kovinić reached a career-high singles ranking of No. 46 in the world. That year she also reached No. 67 in the WTA doubles rankings.
“I really feel that I have the perfect technique with my shots, and I owe it to Veljko,” Kovinić told Tennis Masters.
While in Belgrade, Kovinić became friends with her idol, Serbian tennis pro Jelena Jankovic, who Radojicic had also coached, Tennis Masters reports.
“Just being around her, watching her routines and practicing with her meant the world to me. I tried to soak it all up. She helped me a lot, particularly in the early stages of my career,” Kovinić told Tennis Masters.
Kovinić built her way back in the rankings from a drop in 2017.
Kovinić’s tennis career hit a snag in 2017 when she lost to Danka Kasatkina at the Charleston Open. Her ranking dropped to No. 182 in 2018. But in 2021, she was back in Charleston and made it to the quarterfinals after beating third-seeded Petra Kvitová.
Kovinić is currently ranked higher than Williams.
Although Kovinić is unseeded and has lost her last five singles matches, she is currently ranked higher than Williams right now. Williams is currently ranked 608, and her season record is just 1–3. The tennis champ hinted earlier this month that she may be retiring after the U.S. Open.
Kovinić expressed her excitement about her upcoming match with Williams on Twitter. “WHAT A MOMENT. Looking forward to this,” Kovinić tweeted.
Kovinić may prove to be a formidable opponent for Williams. She is known for her big serve, flat backhand, and heavy topspin she makes with her forehand.