The overdramatized encounter between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova on the opening day of the US Open lasted only 59 minutes, as Williams never dropped serve and beat the Russian for the 19th time in a row, the streak that dates back to the 2005 Australian Open.
Sharapova didn’t win a single point on her second serve and converted none of her five opportunities to break. The five-time Grand Slam champion’s net stats also read 0%. Williams continued to dominate the “rivalry” by winning twice as many points as her opponent (56 to 28).
Both players entered their first meeting since the 2016 Australian Open quarterfinal in questionable form, as Williams had back problems in the weeks before the US Open, while Sharapova’s match was just her seventh since January because of a shoulder injury. However, Williams moved well and showed few signs of the recent health problem that forced her to withdraw from Cincinnati and retire in the Toronto final against Bianca Andreescu.
Serena is now 72-1 in the first rounds of Grand Slams, including 19-0 at the US Open, while Sharapova’s perfect record in the US Open round one was ruined with this loss and is now 12-1.
Once again we got to see only the night version of Sharapova’s New York dress. Serena can’t make major fashion experiments at Roland Garros any more, but the US Open still allows unconventional outfits, so the American showed up in a long-sleeved skintight NikeCourt bodysuit and a pair of custom Flare Knit Lows with an iridescent heel drawn from the streets of NY (printed on the heel are Williams’ career wins at Flushing Meadows).
After the match, Williams fired a cheap shot in the direction of Carlos Ramos, the chair umpire for last year’s women’s final whom she called “a cheat” and “a liar” during her loss to Naomi Osaka. When asked to comment on the decision of the officials to not assign Ramos any match involving either Venus or Serena, the 23-time major winner commented:
I do not know who that is.
The 37-year-old Williams will face 20 years younger American Catherine McNally in the second round.