Serena Williams’ US Open finale most-watched ever on ESPN

(Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

Serena Williams continued to break records in her final US Open match. Her expected farewell to Flushing Meadows and to tennis became the most-watched tennis broadcast ever on ESPN.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion announced her plans to retire from tennis following the final major of 2022. An average of 4.6 million viewers tuned in to watch her three-set loss to Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round Friday.

Previously, the record stood at 3.9 million viewers for the 2012 Wimbledon final, in which Roger Federer defeated Andy Murray. That also was ESPN’s first year with exclusive coverage of Wimbledon.

The ratings for Williams’ final match peaked with 6.9 million viewers at about 10:15 p.m. ET, around the time the match was coming to an end.

While record-breaking, the match was not the first big ratings get of the tournament for Williams. Her second-round win over Anett Kontaveit averaged 3.6 million viewers.

A total of 1.1 million viewers on average tuned in to ESPN through the first week of the tournament, a 101 percent increase over 2021. That marks the most-viewed first five days of the US Open ever on ESPN.