WASHINGTON: American stars Serena Williams and Sofia Kenin both advanced into the second round of the US Open after defeating respective opponents on Tuesday.
Williams, a six-time champion in New York, began her quest for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over compatriot Kristie Ahn in an hour and 21 minutes while second seed Kenin eased past Yanina Wickmayer from Belgium 6-2, 6-2.
Williams, third seed of the US Open, blasted 28 winners and 13 aces in total, outpacing her 24 unforced errors and broke her countrywoman’s serve four times en route to the victory.
“It was just getting the rhythm in the early part of the match,” Williams said. “First round is always tough for me. I think Kristie, she really strikes the ball really hard. She mixes up a lot. She plays a lot of different shots. You don’t really know what to expect.”
“But I felt like I just wanted to be Serena focused from the first point to the last point no matter what happens,” she added.
Williams moves into the second round, where she’ll take on Margarita Gasparyan in her next match. The 26-year-old Russian defeated Monica Puig of Puerto Rico 6-3, 6-7(0), 6-0 in another game.
Reigning Australian Open champion Kenin got her US Open campaign off to a flying start with a comfortable win against former US Open semifinalist Wickmayer.
Playing her first match at a major event since she won her maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, world No.4 Kenin was extremely efficient as she swept to victory in just 67 minutes.
“I think it’s a really good win, a good boost for my confidence,” Kenin said. “I played really well. I focused on the key elements of the game.”
Next up for Kenin will be a second-round clash against rapidly rising Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez, who defeated 2010 US Open finalist Vera Zvonareva of Russia in straight sets.
Elsewhere, Serena Williams’ older sister Venus was ousted by Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic while China’s Zhang Shuai lost to Ysaline Bonaventure of Belgium in the first round.