Hugh Jackman, Mike Tyson and Bill Clinton watch Serena Williams’ farewell match at the US Open

The hottest ticket in the sport has given way to a star-studded crowd at New York’s Arthur Ashe Stadium, where Hugh Jackman, Mike Tyson, Anna Wintour and even Bill Clinton are all expected for what may be the last game of Serena Williams’ glittering career.

Having previously announced her intention to “evolve” (don’t say “retire”) from tennis after this year’s US Open, Williams could very well play first-round opponent Danka Kovinic of Montenegro in her final match in Queens tonight .

And if it’s her last match, Williams couldn’t have picked a better venue than Center Court in Flushing, where she won six singles titles and two doubles crowns in front of New York celebrities.

Williams exits a hotel in Manhattan ahead of the 2022 US Open on Monday

Williams exits a hotel in Manhattan ahead of the 2022 US Open on Monday

mike tyson

Hugh Jackman

Mike Tyson (left) and Hugh Jackman (right) are both expected at today’s game in Queens

The average resale price for tickets to this year's US Open has risen 68 percent to $512 since the announcement of William's retirement, according to ticketing and marketing analytics firm TicketIQ. Meanwhile, ticket prices on the secondary market for Monday's first-round match surged 300 percent, with the average ticket price hitting $987 -- a record since TicketIQ began collecting data in 2011

The average resale price for tickets to this year’s US Open has risen 68 percent to $512 since the announcement of William’s retirement, according to ticketing and marketing analytics firm TicketIQ. Meanwhile, ticket prices on the secondary market for Monday’s first-round match surged 300 percent, with the average ticket price hitting $987 — a record since TicketIQ began collecting data in 2011

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson is out injured but is expected at Arthur Ashe Stadium tonight

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson is out injured but is expected at Arthur Ashe Stadium tonight

Of course, demand to see Williams again has skyrocketed.

The average resale price for tickets to this year’s US Open has risen 68 percent to $512 since the announcement of William’s retirement, according to ticketing and marketing analytics firm TicketIQ.

Meanwhile, ticket prices on the secondary market for Monday’s first-round match surged 300 percent, with the average ticket price hitting $987 — a record since TicketIQ began collecting data in 2011.

Of course, elite celebrities had no problem getting into Arthur Ashe, where Lindsey Vonn, Galdys Knight, Spike Lee, Queen Latifah, Jets quarterback Zach Wilson, Rebel Wilson, Vera Wang and Anthony Anderson, according to Tennis Network’s Steve Weissman, should also be in attendance .

Williams isn’t retiring so much, instead setting new priorities.

As she recently told The Wall Street Journal ahead of her last US Open at her luxury Manhattan hotel, tennis is being minimized in favor of her five-year-old daughter Olympia and a growing list of business interests who are increasingly monopolizing her time.

Serena Williams holds her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. after showing off her clothing line during New York Fashion Week in New York

Serena Williams holds her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. after showing off her clothing line during New York Fashion Week in New York

What she doesn’t do – as she has claimed – is retire.

“I’m not retiring, I’m just moving away from tennis and doing something different,” Williams, 40, told the Journal, echoing statements in Vogue earlier this month when she announced her plans to leave the professional tour .

But while she refused to use the ‘R’ word to describe her move, she admits that tonight’s first-round match against Kovinic could very well be her last. At least the 2022 US Open will be her last Grand Slam and if she doesn’t win in Flushing on Monday night it could be her last chance to play in front of a packed crowd.

Win or lose, Williams is getting a farewell ceremony at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday night and the rest of her week is likely to be pretty busy either way.

“I probably should retire, at least for a few years, but for some silly reason I’m not,” she said.

As any parent of a five-year-old can attest, her schedule is currently focused on daughter Olympia. That means getting up at 7 a.m. with her whether Williams is in practice or not.

When asked how the Olympia is affecting her routines, Williams said, “She totally threw a wrench in it, and it’s awesome.”

Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr., center, poses with mom Serena Williams, right, and dad Alexis Ohanian, on the red carpet at the 2021 AFI Fest Gala Premiere of King Richard, held at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California , Sunday, November 14 2021

Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr., center, poses with mom Serena Williams, right, and dad Alexis Ohanian, on the red carpet at the 2021 AFI Fest Gala Premiere of King Richard, held at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California , Sunday, November 14 2021

Even before she became a mother, Williams was never very involved with breakfast and said she was never really hungry in the morning.

Things are changing a bit now that husband and billionaire Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian has bought the family a farm with some associated chickens.

“So we got some chicks and they grew up and now they’re chickens and I had some of their eggs and it was really good,” Williams said.

With Olympia settled in the morning, it’s time for the endless parade of calls and meetings that fill investors’ days.

“Wake up and go to the office and now that everything is digital, you can just sit and take calls all day,” Williams said. “I usually just go to work when Olympia goes to school. I work, work, work and then I usually pick her up from school.”

Williams has extensive business interests, including her own venture capital firm, Serena Ventures, which raised a reported $111 million seed fund last March. In addition, she and her sister Venus are both minority owners of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, she co-owns a National Women’s Soccer League team and has her own sustainable clothing line, S by Serena.

“I like to invest in things where I believe in the founder,” she told the Journal.

When asked for advice that has helped her, Williams said she always puts “God first” and then “everything else falls into place.”

Serena Williams celebrates her first US Open title in 1999 after defeating Martina Hingis

Serena Williams celebrates her first US Open title in 1999 after defeating Martina Hingis

The decision to retire was inevitable for Williams, who hasn’t won a major singles tournament since the Australian Open in 2017, but that doesn’t make it any easier. If she were a man, balancing business and competition would be a lot easier.

“Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family,” she wrote for Vogue earlier this month. “I don’t think it’s fair. If I were a man I wouldn’t be writing this because I would be out there playing and winning while my wife does the physical labor to add to our family. Maybe I’d be more of a Tom Brady if I had that opportunity.

“A lot of people don’t know that I was two months pregnant when I won the Australian Open in 2017,” she continued. “But I’ll be 41 this month, so there has to be something here.”

An unexpected problem on their way to the door: progress.

Williams has struggled with age and injuries in recent years, but recently told Time that she feels like she’s finally getting back on her feet.

“I can see my improvement and think, Dang, I’ll be good in January,” said Williams, who immediately ruled out the chance to play at the 2023 Australian Open. ‘I don’t do that.’

Realistically, another Australian Open just doesn’t fit into her life.

Williams would like to have another child with Ohanian, mainly to give Olympia the companionship of a sibling.

“Looking at Olympia, I’m really not playing at my peak by not trying to give her that sibling anymore,” Williams told Time. Coming from a big family and coming from five years, there is nothing better.’

In this file photo taken on January 12, 2020, Serena Williams of the USA with her daughter Alexis Olympia after her victory against Jessica Pegula of the USA during their women's singles final match during the Auckland Classic tennis tournament in Auckland

In this file photo taken on January 12, 2020, Serena Williams of the USA with her daughter Alexis Olympia after her victory against Jessica Pegula of the USA during their women’s singles final match during the Auckland Classic tennis tournament in Auckland

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Maureen Mackey

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