(August 26, 2013) Sisters Venus and Serena Williams had easy opening matches on day one of the US Open. Serena destroyed Francesca Schiavone 6-0, 6-1 in the night session while older sister Venus knocked off the 12th seed Kirsten Flipkens 6-1, 6-2.
At one point in Serena’s match her opponent, a former French Open champion asked the ball boy to give her a hug as she was down 6-0, 2-0.
“A hug?, “ said Schiavone. “ No. I don’t need a hug in that moment. I need a game, points. I don’t need the hug.
“No, no I went to the ballboys to say, Well, that’s tough. No, it was just a joke.”
“She’s a great competitor,” Serena said. “I think she played really well. I think the scoreline had nothing to do with the match. I mean, I just was able to win some key points.
“But I tell you, it wasn’t very easy out there. We were both grunting and running and fighting.”
“It was very, very nice to win a game,” said Schiavone. “For the first time in my life, I felt joy from winning a single game.”
The match ended in an hour just before the rains began and ended play for the evening, pushing Roger Federer’s match to Tuesday’s day session.
“I heard it was going to rain all day, Serena said. “I didn’t know going into it. I didn’t know the weather forecast. I forget about it pretty much.”
The 33-year-old Williams resembled the Venus from the past before being struck with an auto-immune disorder in her victory over Flipkens.
Even though on paper the match is considered an upset, Flipkens said that no matter what the rankings say that when Venus is focused and fit she’s a top 10 player.
“I stay positive because I know I can play great tennis,” Venus said. “Sometimes you just have to go through more than what you want to go through.
When asked about the state of her game, Venus said:” I try not to think about the state. I try to think about how I’m going to execute each point on the court. There can be times you play amazing in practice or in the round before and not play well the next round.
“I try more than anything to get the best out of myself in that game and that point. That’s kind of what I’m looking at, and of course trying to get better each round. But, you know, that’s it.”
Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News