CNN  — 

The curtain will soon come down on one of the greatest careers the world of sport has ever seen and Flushing Meadows, the home of the US Open, will provide a fitting stage for Serena Williams’ final act.

Williams announced earlier this month that she would “evolve away from tennis” after this year’s US Open, saying that she has “never liked the word retirement.”

How to watch Serena's farewell tour at the US Open

  • Williams vs. Kovinic
  • When? Monday, 7 p.m. ETWhere? ESPN

    Now 40 years of age, Williams’ career will come full circle as her final match is to be played at the site of the first of her 23 grand slam singles wins, the 1999 US Open. Then just a teenager, Williams burst onto the scene to stun world No. 1 Martina Hingis in the final and lay the first stepping stone on her path to two decades of dominance.

    “If I could just pick one thing that she possesses incredibly strongly compared to other players and champions, it’s a strong determination to go through difficult stages and to win no matter what, year after year,” Marin Cilic, the 2014 US Open men’s champion, told CNN Sport.

    “I’m hoping that she’s going to have a fantastic US Open and to give the best farewell is to go with the win. So [I’m] hoping that she can do it.”

    Serena won her first-round singles match on Monday against Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Williams is also set to play her first doubles match with sister Venus on Wednesday.

    Since returning to the circuit back in June after a year out through injury, Williams has managed to win just a single match and has been unable to get close to the form that helped her win her last grand slam title in 2017.

    Even if she cannot achieve a dream final flourish by lifting the title at Flushing Meadows, Williams’ 23 grand slam singles titles will go down as the most by any player in the Open Era and just one shy of Margaret Court’s all-time record.