US Open 2019: Serena Williams thrashes Maria Sharapova in straight sets
Maria Sharapova was dominated from start to finish as she made an early exit from the US Open Monday night. Serena Williams, who wanted nothing more than a terrific start, earned it with powerful hits that took out the Russian 6-1, 6-1 at Arthur Ashe Stadium. This marked the 20th win for the American in their series and an easy march into the second round.
This marked the 22nd meeting between the two stars but more importantly the first for Williams since her awkward US Open final last year. While she won’t ever see umpire Carlos Ramos in the chair again, she faced a huge test in returning to the venue where she had such a huge meltdown.
Sharapova was also coming into the match low on confidence after flopping in the first rounds of Wimbledon and Toronto. With so many intangibles surrounding the match-up, the start was always going to be critical.
Serena started the match with a hold followed by one from Sharapova, where she gave the American just two points. Though the Russian kept pace with Serena early on, the break for the 23-time Slam champion arrived in the fourth game to give her a two-game buffer.
Serena went on to take the next three in a row, with Sharapova winning just two points combined in those games. Serena rushed into the lead after 25 minutes; she logged 11 winners in the first set and was gifted 15 unforced errors from Sharapova.
With the comfortable start, Serena cruised into the second set and took the first couple of games without breaking a sweat. Sharapova had a tough task before her but somehow found a way to hold in the third.
That didn’t help her create a footing against the eighth seed though, as the 37-year-old resumed her dominance to break her again for a 4-1 stand.
Sharapova fought with all her energy to gain a second game but let a break point slip out of her grasp. She then had two AD points again but Serena saved them to march 5-1 ahead.
Sharapova is used to being in the hot seat against Serena but digging in proved difficult, and errors on serve gave the 37-year-old two match points. The former World No. 1 got it on a long backhand from Sharapova that ended a short 59-minute match.
Getting exactly the start she wanted in the year’s final Slam, Serena moves into round two to face 17-year-old American Caty McNally on Wednesday.