'GOAT': History-making Serena Williams lights up tennis world

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Pictured here, Serena Williams during the opening round of the US Open.
Serena Williams now holds the outright record for most victories at the US Open (102). Pic: AAP

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.

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."

Seen here, Serena Williams made it comfortably through to the second round of the US Open.
Williams is aiming to equal Margaret Court's record of 24 grand slam titles. Pic: AAP

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.

with AAP