When Serena Williams announced that she will step away from tennis after this year’s U.S. Open, she sparked an impromptu farewell tour that has already notched multiple attendance records.
Throughout the day, 71,332 fans filtered in and out of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, according to USTA data provided to Front Office Sports. It was the second-highest attendance number of any day in U.S. Open history — a feat even more impressive for a series of first-round contests.
That wasn’t the only milestone, however.
The U.S. Open night session on Monday, which featured Williams in prime time, set a record for the highest night-session attendance across matches in history, with 29,402 fans.
The crowd was clearly drawn to see Williams, as the majority of fans left before or during the following match featuring men’s star Nick Kyrgios.
The day session set a record for Opening Day, with 41,920 fans.
Williams will play in potentially her final singles match on Wednesday night against Anett Kontaveit — who is currently ranked second in the world.