New York, September 2
Serena Williams took her first step towards a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam title on Tuesday, defeating Kristie Ahn 7-5 6-Three within the first spherical of the US Open.
Williams acquired off to a gradual begin, exhibiting indicators of nervousness early within the first set, however kicked her recreation into excessive gear within the second, firing off 13 aces and 28 winners in the course of the match and harnessing her highly effective return to maintain her opponent on the run.
A closing serve compelled Ahn into an error, as Williams claimed a report 102nd US Open match victory, as she scored her first straight-sets win for the reason that sport was placed on a coronavirus hiatus.
“I was really happy with how I just fought for every point,” Williams stated in an on-court interview after the match.
She needed to regain her focus, she stated, and “simply be Serena and shut it out”.
In typical vogue, Williams harnessed her highly effective serve to her benefit, successful 85 per cent of her first-serve factors, with a quickest serve of 124 mph.
Williams, who reached the ultimate of the US Open in her final two campaigns, is gunning for her first Grand Slam title since 2017 to equal Margaret Court’s report in a depleted area by which six of the highest 10 gamers will not be competing this yr.
She subsequent faces Margarita Gasparyan of Russia within the second spherical. Reuters