Watch out, tennis world. World No. 1 Serena Williams is clearly at the top of her game.
She proved that on Monday night with a near flawless 6-0, 6-1 victory over Francesca Schiavone in the first round of the U.S. Open.
Schiavone simply never stood a chance.
Williams, coming off a disappointing fourth-round loss at Wimbledon and a finals defeat to World No. 2 Victoria Azarenka at the Western & Southern Open eight days ago, had a certain fire in her eyes, and when she is focused and determined, there are very few women in this world capable of beating the American, let alone staying close with her.
In the first game of the match, Serena broke Schiavone in easy fashion, a forecast of things to come. She went on to control the next five games, winning 24 of the total 30 points in the breezy 25-minute set.
She only had one unforced error.
Bruce Beck of WNBC-TV summed it up pretty well:
Still, give Schiavone credit. Williams was simply on another level—and that doesn't really even begin to describe the difference in skill between the two players—but the veteran Italian never gave up.
Showing some noticeable passion, she fought Serena hard in the first game of the second set and made some terrific shots during a 26-stroke rally, but the American came out on top for the dramatic point and went on to earn the break.
Schiavone continued to bring the energy and worked incredibly hard to force a 40-40 on Williams' next serve, but once again, Serena barreled down and won the game.
Of course, that paved way for one of the funnier moments of the day, as the over-matched and overwhelmed Schiavone, unable to make anything in her arsenal work, turned to the ball boy for an embrace:
Perhaps that hug was all she needed, though, as she ended up winning her first game of the match following the nice gesture after a few championship-intense rallies—a deserved consolation prize after fighting hard all night.
As we hit the hour mark, though, Williams resumed her clinical domination to finish the message-sending win.
Serena, who is looking to win her second major of the year, advances to play Galina Voskoboeva in the second round, although if she continues to play at this kind of level, she won't be challenged until at least the second week.
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