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Serena sees off Sharapova in U...
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Serena sees off Sharapova in US Open

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

10:16 27 Aug 2019

Serena Williams made it 19 wins in a row against Maria Sharapova on Arthur Ashe Court in the first round of the US Open last night.

It was a straightforward affair from the start for Serena Williams who took just 59 minutes to dispatch Sharapova 6-1, 6-1.

That win brought up a perfect 19 and 0 record in first-round US Open matches for the six-time winner. While Sharapova who won the title in 2006 lost in a first-round tie at Flushing Meadows for the first time.

Serena said the opposition ensured she had a "super-intense" preparation. Once Williams knew she was playing Sharapova, the six-time champion said her training went up a notch.

"I'm going against a player that has won five grand-slams... so that's never easy. So it's like every practice after that was super intense and super focussed because you know it's an incredibly tough draw."

Good Record

In the post-match interview, the 23-time grand-slam winner was asked why she had such a good record against Sharapova.

"She's such a  good player. when you play her you have to be super focussed so every time I come up against her I bring out some of my best tennis.

"She's the kind of player that gets momentum and gets going.

There was some ominous news for future opponents at Flushing Meadows. Williams was asked about her fitness post-game.

That was after Serena withdrew from the French Open just an hour before she was due on the court with Sharapova at Roland Garros. "Yeah the body is good, my back is a lot better" the eighth seed confirmed.

Sharapova was rather blunt in her assessment of how the match was won by Williams. "She served really well, found her spots really well. I didn't feel like we got into many long rallies.

"The one-two points, she won the majority of those ... That's where she hurt me alot"

Sharapova didn't mention the unforced errors or winners. Sharapova hit just six winners to her 20 unforced errors, compared to Serena, who hit 16 winners with just 12 unforced errors.

Although the score of 6-1 6-1 is probably all of the statistical analysis that is required.

Wildcard

Williams will now take on a fellow American in the second round: 17-year-old wildcard Caty McNally, who dispatched former Top 10 player Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland, 6-4, 6-1, earlier on Monday.

"I feel like I'm here to do that," Williams responded when asked if this event was her tournament to win. "We'll see what happens."

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Flushing Meadows Maria Sharapova Serena Williams Tennis US Open

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