Playing her first match at the U.S. Open since last year’s loss in a chaotic, controversial final, Serena Williams played nearly perfect tennis and beat Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-1 in a contest devoid of drama Monday night.
Williams stretched her winning streak to 19 matches against Sharapova and now leads their head-to-head series 20-2.
“Every time I come up against her,” Williams said, “I just bring out some of my best tennis.”
Sure did this time; the whole thing lasted all of 59 minutes. Williams won twice as many points, 56-28. She saved all five break points she faced and lashed serves at up to 115 mph. She broke five times.
Few players would have stood a chance against Williams the way she performed — and certainly not a diminished Sharapova, who is ranked just 87th after missing much of this season with a bad right shoulder.
“She would win the title, playing like this,” 18-time major champion Chris Evert said about Williams on ESPN’s telecast.