Serena Williams begins US Open with a convincing singles win.
Serena Williams is making a habit of playing big matches at big tournaments. From the Australian Open final, where she rallied to beat Kim Clijsters in a match where neither was playing her best tennis, to winning the US Open singles title, she has played a dozen of the top 25 tournaments in all four majors, winning all but one.
Williams, who has been on a tear for the last two months, began the year ranked second in the world and is set to reach the Australian Open final on Sunday.
However, Williams’ biggest win of the year came on Wednesday at the US Open, where she defeated No. 1, 2 and 3 seeds Maria Sharapova, No. 3 Victoria Azarenka and Flavia Pennetta to claim her sixth career Slam singles title and her first major singles title since she won Wimbledon in 2009.
Read more: Serena Williams takes Australian Open title in 6-3, 6-4 win over Victoria Azarenka
In her first major title match in more than three years, Williams took an early lead by breaking Sharapova’s serve in the first game of the opening-day match. The match went back and forth and it was only at the beginning of the second game that Sharapova was able to get her first break, a first-set tiebreak, which she won to take the match.
Sharapova played the most attractive tennis of the week, but was simply not able to capitalize on the opportunities that came her way. She hit only seven winners in the first set, and was broken in three consecutive games. Williams won the first four games of the second set.
From there, it was all Williams. She broke Sharapova in the next four games to lead 4-3. The third set was decided by a single game (Williams has won seven straight set games). Sharapova broke Williams to move into the fourth set. She dropped serve to open the set,