(August 30, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Whatever doubts people had about Serena Williams and a shoulder injury were put to rest on Tuesday night at the US Open.
Serena and Venus Williams moved into the second round of the US Open on Tuesday. No. 1 Serena looking for her 23rd major opened the night session with a dominating 6-3, 6-3 performance against No. 36 Ekaterina Makarova hitting 27 winning with 12 aces. It was Serena’s 85 match win at the US Open.
“I knew today I needed to be focused because I’ve played her,” Serena said. “She’s gotten to the semifinals. She goes deep in majors. She knows how to play big matches on big courts. She’s not intimidated. I knew I had to really come out today. It was my only option really.”
“I was pleased with my serve because I haven’t been hitting a lot of serves at all. In practice, none of them were going in, so I was definitely excited about that.”
Sister Venus, seeded sixth had to survive a three-set match against Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine, who is ranked 93rd 6-2, 5-7, 6-4. For the 36-year-old Venus she is now 18-0 in US Open first round matches, making a record 72 appearance at a major.
“The first round is never easy,” Venus said. “You’re trying to find a rhythm, get used to the court, you know, play an opponent I never played before.
“But it was great to be challenged and to be pushed because I had to get in those situations that you know you’re going to face in the tournament early on. So that felt good to come through.”
“I didn’t know much about her game at all, literally zero,” she continued. “And it’s hard. The first round is hard. I haven’t played a single match in, like, three weeks. Just getting out there and trying to play perfectly.
“I definitely had a lot more errors than I wanted. If I could cut those in half, it’s definitely a different story.
“The good part is I’m playing the game I want to play, I’m playing aggressively and moving forward. It’s just about making a few less errors and it’s a completely different story.”
Former world No. 1 and 29th seed Ana Ivanovic has lost in the first round for the second straight year, this time to Denisa Allertova 7-6(4), 6-1.
The recently married 2008 French Open winner was asked about possible retirement. “No, not at all,” she said. “I just need to really see why is this happening, you know. Because, I mean, I had struggles throughout my career; I had some tough times. This is not the first time I’m going through this.
“It just hurts because I know what I invested.”
Fifth seed Simona Halep had points for a 6-0, 6-0 win, but was broken and won 6-0, 6-2 over Kirsten Flipkens.
In the biggest upset on the men’s side, 12 seeded David Goffin lost to American teenage qualifier Jared Donaldson 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-0. The 19-year-old is ranked 122 in the world.
Donaldson talked about getting his first US open win:”Obviously it was a really, really exciting atmosphere out there. I thought that I played really well. It was tough conditions. It was hot. I think we were both trying to move each other as much as possible and take time away from each other.
“So I think that, you know, I just was able to win a few more of the key points today. Obviously that fourth set I played really well.
“I think it was a really, really special victory for me.”
Fellow American Sam Querrey, who stunned Novak Djokovic in the third round of Wimbledon lost to Janko Tipsarevic 7-6 (4), 6-7 (0), 6-3, 6-3.
In his first US Open since 2013, Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion beat fellow Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (3). Del Potro who is ranked142nd was a wild card recipient. Del Potro won the silver medal at the Rio Olympics earlier this month, when he lost to Andy Murray in the final.
“I am so glad to be part of this tournament once again after three years,” said the former champion. “I really appreciate the wild card who give me to have the chance to play, and that’s important for me.
“Always, in every match here at the US Open, the crowd make me feels special. I really like the atmospheres down there. They create another things in every court.
“It’s amazing for me just having the chance to play here once again.”
Seeds Stan Wawrinka and 2014 US open finalist Kei Nishikori also advanced on Tuesday.
More to follow…