On Monday, Serena Williams started her first US Open match against Vitalia Diatchenko as a clear favorite. There were no surprises, as an injured Diatchenko went face-to-face against the world’s #1 seed female tennis player. Williams was the absolute dominant, hardly tested at any point of the match.
The Arthur Ashe stadium roared with excitement as Serena jumped into the court, waved, and started a US Open tournament that could possibly make history. She could become the first woman since Steffi Graff (1988) to win the year Grand Slam.
The match took only thirty minutes before Diatchenko retired, during which the scores were set at 6-0, 2-0. Serena was declared the victor, with a 32 out of 37 points win. The Russian player’s ankle injury definitively worked against her, leading to her retiring. During an on-court interview, Serena said, “I told her I was proud of her for even coming out and making this effort when she was injured.”
At the end, they both hugged and had a rather long conversation under the umpire’s chair. “Yeah, it was definitely different and bizarre,” said Williams. “But at the same time, I was still focused. I kept thinking, you know, ‘Just stay focused; don’t lose it.’ You never know what can happen.”
Serena´s next match will be on Wednesday against Kiki Bertens from the Netherlands, ranked 110 worldwide. Williams also kicks off as absolute favorite for this one. In the meantime, Serena seems to be enjoying the moment, one match at a time.
Williams said in press conference, “It’s great to be here … to be an American, just to be on this journey in my life. You know, it’s kind of awesome that this is the last grand slam of the year, because if it were in a different country, I think I would still love it, but it’s not the same as being an American playing in New York, playing for that ultimate goal.”