New York, USA – Serena Williams started her chase for the 24th Grand Slam singles competition by beating five-time major winner Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-1 Monday, August 26, to reach the second part of the US Open.
Williams defeated her Russian opponent in less than an hour, making progress to 20-2 all-time against Sharapova with her 19th successive win in the rivalry.
Eight-seeded Williams, who will play against 121st-ranked US wildcard Caty McNally, blew up 5 aces and 16 winners while Sharapova made 20 missed shots in the loss at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The former world no.1, craving for her seventh US Open title, is trying to beat the all-time record of 24 Slam singles titles won by Australian tennis player Margaret Court.
Sharapova, the 2006 US Open champion who crushed Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon final, knocked Simona Halep in the first round two years ago but could not restore that magic in the opening-night match in the year’s final Grand Slam tournament.
According to Williams, when she learned she would play against Sharapova in her first match, “every practice after that was super focused and super intense.
“She’s such a good player. When you play her you have to be super focused. Whenever I play her I bring out some of my best tennis.”