Serena matches her easiest win over Venus
NEW YORK — Serena Williams kept booming big shots for winners, never allowing herself to feel sorry for the overmatched player on the other side.
So what if it happened to be her big sister?
The Williams sisters, long ago in careers that have spanned 20 years and 30 meetings as professionals, learned they had to view each other only as opponents — and in Serena’s eyes, Venus is the best one she’s ever played.
“Even though it’s difficult, especially for me,” Serena said, “we just do the best that we can.”
On Friday, it was perhaps the best she’s ever done against Venus.
Serena equaled her most-lopsided victory against her sister with a 6-1, 6-2 rout in the third round of the U.S. Open.
Serena shook off an early ankle injury to win seven straight games and seize control in perhaps her most dominant performance since giving birth to her daughter a year ago Saturday.
The sisters’ earliest meeting in a Grand Slam tournament in 20 years was over early, with Venus unable to do anything to blunt Serena’s power, even after the fans that were part of Friday’s single-day record crowd of 70,162 tried desperately to get behind her with pleas of “Come on, Venus!” early in the second set.
They hadn’t played this early in a Grand Slam since Venus won in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open in their first meeting as pros, and only once over the next two decades had either won so decisively. Serena won by the same score in a semifinal victory in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2013.
“I think it’s the best match she’s ever played against me,” Venus said. “I don’t think I did a lot wrong. But she just did everything right.”
Serena, the No. 17 seed, will face Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, who knocked out top-ranked Simona Halep in the first round.
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