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Six-time US Open champ Serena Williams will retire after one last trip to Arthur Ashe for this year’s tourney.
On the bright side, the 40-year-old tennis star’s news has been a godsend for ticket sales to this year’s Open as demand and prices experienced a spike over the past 24 hours.
In a chat with the New York Post, USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier expressed his awe over the activity surrounding US Open admission, and how Williams’ last appearance boosts appeal.
“You talk about the Serena effect, it’s like a tsunami,” Widmaier relayed to The Post.
“Since people have learned of the news, we’ve sold, as of 3 p.m. [Tuesday], 13,000 tickets to the Open, including 4,500 or thereabouts for opening night,” he added, which compared to typical frequency, he defined as “a spectacular day” for ticket sales. Widmaier also called the figure “unprecedented.”
Widmaier attested to catching $35 seats balloon up to $7,000 in online re-sale.
Anticipating that Williams will advance past the first round, “1,500 tickets for a potential Wednesday night Williams second-round match,” noted The Post.
Williams announced her retirement in a Vogue feature, released Monday.
In the piece, she dubbed her decision to step away from the sport as an “evolution” — capping a 27-year run as the best player in women’s tennis.
“I have never liked the word retirement,” Williams wrote. “It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. I’ve been thinking of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people. Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution.”
Williams is expected to appear in the first round of the tournament on either August 29 or 30 — pending the official US Open draw.