Serena Williams has opened her US Open account with another super victory that sees the American notch another incredible piece of tennis history.
The 23-time grand slam champion kicked off her campaign in New York with a straight-sets win over compatriot Kristie Ahn.
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Williams needed just under one-and-a-half hours to come through 7-5 6-3 despite falling a break down to her world No.96 opponent in both sets.
The performance sealed an astonishing 102nd win for the American at her home grand slam, breaking the record she held with compatriot Chris Evert.
Fans around the world hailed the record-breaking 38-year-old after her latest slice of history.
BREAKING: @serenawilliams breaks @ChrissieEvert's record for most singles victories at the #USOpen— TENNIS (@Tennis) September 1, 2020
—102—with a 7-5, 6-3 first-round win over Kristie Ahn.
More to come on this monumental moment.https://t.co/HetWxDmrO3
(3)Serena Williams beats Kristie Ahn 7-5, 6-3 to move into the #USOpen 2nd round— Matt Dowell (@TheMattDowell) September 1, 2020
That’s Serena’s 102nd win at the US Open, which is now the all-time record
Breaks her tie with Chris Evert
The Queen, Serena that is, the GOAT, good two set victory.— Judith McDonnell (@JudyMcDonnell) September 1, 2020
SERENA! Queen and GOAT! 🐐🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾— Carolyn Anger 😷 (@toujourstechie) September 1, 2020
Serena Williams has won a tennis match, again. It’s no ordinary win. Playing in the #USOpen, the win by #SerenaWilliams in the first round was not only her 102 match win at the USOpen but a record breaking win of most #USOpen matches won in the open era by a player (since 1968) pic.twitter.com/SDa2gO2BL5— cheryl roberts (@cherylroberts00) September 2, 2020
Shoutout to Queen Serena for her win! https://t.co/baR4uvfiJp— Anna Gifty (@itsafronomics) September 1, 2020
Serena Williams showing up at a tournament is either a record setting moment or a record extended by her. That’s her career at this point. How powerful and excellent— Sithasomlilo (@Chief_Seets) September 1, 2020
Four straight games turned the second set on its head and enabled Williams to belatedly find the momentum she required to claim victory.
Showing early signs of nerves, the former world No.1 then found another gear to fire off 13 aces and 28 winners.
A final serve forced Ahn into an error, handing Williams her 102nd US Open match victory, as she scored her first straight-sets win since the sport was put on a coronavirus hiatus.
"I was really happy with how I just fought for every point," Williams said in an on-court interview after the match.
She had to regain her focus, she added, and "just be Serena and close it out."
Big guns join Williams in second round
Spain's Garbine Muguruza, looking determined to overcome her US Open jinx, beat Japan's Nao Hibino to collect a snappy 6-4 6-4 first round win.
Flushing Meadows has not been a happy hunting ground for the former French Open and Wimbledon champion, who this year nearly added to her collection of grand slam trophies by reaching the final in Australia.
In stark contrast to her success at the other slams, Muguruza has struggled to make an impact on the New York hardcourts.
She has made it past the second round just once in seven previous visits to Flushing Meadows.
"I was anxious a little bit because I did not play in the last six months and did not have a chance to play before the US Open to get ready for here," said Muguruza.
"I am happy with my performance I was expecting a tough match and it was."
Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin produced a dominant display to dispatch Belgian Yanina Wickmayer 6-2 6-2.
American Kenin, who has lifted two titles in 2020 including her maiden grand slam triumph in Melbourne, broke her opponent in the first game to set the tone for the match before claiming the opening set in just 37 minutes.
The 21-year-old started the second set just like the first to take an early lead and went on to serve out the match in clinical fashion.
No.7 seed Madison Keys needed just 55 minutes to beat Timea Babos 6-1 6-1 as the 2017 finalist looks to claim her elusive first grand slam title.
In an all-British affair, Johanna Konta shrugged off some early resistance before overpowering Heather Watson 7-6 (9-7) 6-1.