NEW YORK – Serena Williams equaled her 102nd career US Open match victory with Chris Evert in the professional era, quickly working her opponent to change.
Williams then heads back to Arthur Ashe Stadium, Tuesday night, for her dog pull. Williams had a match to watch – her older sister, which didn’t even work.
Serena Williams, 39, defeated Christy Ahn 7-5, 6-3 this month. But 40-year-old Venus Williams lost in the first round of the US Open for the first time in 22 appearances, losing 6-3, 7-5 to No. 20 Carolina Muchova.
This is the fourth time in the last five Grand Slam tournaments that Venus has exited in her opening match.
“I ran out of time today,” Venus said.
Venus, who has won two of her seven major singles championships in New York, is set to become the third woman in her 40s to win a US Open singles match.
“To be honest, we never thought we’d be here yet,” Serena said.
“I love my job. At the end of the day, I love the work I do. I always say, ‘You can never do that,'” she said after delivering 13 aces and dropping just six points on her serve.
“One of these days,” Serena said, “it will end.”
She has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the highest in the professional era, beginning in 1968; Margaret Court only charged more than 24.
Serena has won six trophies at the US Open, and has been a four-time runner-up in the last two years.
Serena has been 3-2 on Tuesday since tennis matches resumed after a break due to the coronavirus epidemic – and all five sets have gone into three sets.
So Tuesday’s match is a welcome change.
“It’s been many years – since the 90s – since I won a match in consecutive sets,” Serena joked.
“I’ve been playing tons of tough matches,” she said. “I thought, OK, I want to be ‘Serena-focused’ from the first point to the last point, no matter what happens.”
Her career mark in the hard-court event was 102-13, which was a pass percentage of 887.
“In a weird way, I think every time I get here, I break another record,” Serena said.
“It simply came to our notice then. I don’t think I appreciate it enough, it’s unfortunate, ”she said. “But I’m in the middle of a Grand Slam, so when I think about winning a tournament it’s not time to focus my attention on records.”
New Players Association
“There is a lot of misleading information in the professional tennis players’ association that we are trying to achieve,” said Vasek Pospisil, a man who joined Novak Djokovic to launch a new association to represent male tennis players. (PTPA).
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were among those who said they were not in favor of the proposal to set up something outside the ATP Tour.
For that matter, tennis players have no union, the way athletes do in major North American team sports.
“The structure in ATP leaves players completely powerless,” Pospisil said. “Our voices are not heard right now. That’s all we’ve trying to do here.”
Pospisil will face Philip Coleskreiber 7-6 (4), 7-5, 7-6 (3) in the second round of the US Open on Tuesday to face 2016 Wimbledon runner-up Milos Rounik.
One of the two players dropped out of the Western & Southern Open draw last month after being tested positive by a fitness trainer for coronavirus, he spoke on Tuesday about what he called unfair treatment.
Guido Pella, 29th seed at Flushing Meadows, lost 6-2, 0-6, 6-3, 6-3 to American wild-card entry JJ Wolf in his first round match at the US Open.
He said he tested negative for COVID-19 nine times, but was detained and withdrawn from the Western & Southern Open – along with Bolivia’s Hugo Dellian – who also lost on Tuesday – after they made contact with the coach. Another player who tested positive was Benoit Pierre, after which seven players were allowed to stay in the US Open.
“I have faced so many deadly injustices,” Pella said. “We were not treated equally.”
AP Sports Writers Steven Vine and Eric Nees contributed to this report.
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