Serena Williams quickly — in match terms — answered the question that many sports announcers likely had for her today. With her sister and “favorite doubles partner,” Venus Williams checking out of the Open early and announcing having a life-altering illness, many wondered what impact it would have on her emotions and ultimately her game.
It took her 49 minutes to reveal that, if any impact at all, it was motivation.
The younger Williams sister easily advanced to the third round today at Flushing Meadows, knocking out in Goliath-style, her round-two opponent, Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands, 6-0, 6,1. She slammed down 10 aces and hit a total of 25 winners to all but shut the Nederlander out of the match.
Williams’ first round opponent, Bojana Jovanovski, gave her more of a fight on Tuesday night, winning one more game than Krajicek and lasting seven more minutes. That doesn’t sound like much of a fight, but when the 13-time Slam champion and possibly the greatest women’s tennis player in the history of the sport is focused and in form as she presently is, that’s a respectable chink in her armor from her unlucky opponents.
The 28 seed, but tournament favorite’s second round win sets her up to face the formidable, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, whom she has a spotty record against. She made quick work of taking the Belarusian out on the way to her recent title win in Toronto, but with tennis, it’s always “different day, different circumstances.”
If Azarenka tops Argentinian, Gisela Dulko, today, she’ll meet Williams on Saturday.