Serena Williams returned to Arthur Ashe Stadium for the first time since last year’s controversial U.S. Open final. But this time, it was a totally different outcome.
During yesterday’s match, the 37-year-old tennis player defeated Maria Sharapova, and to no surprise, she made it look ridiculously easy.
It took Williams less than an hour (59 minutes to be exact) to claim the victory over Sharapova, winning the first two sets with a final score of six to one. Although it seemed like a cinch, Williams admitted that she was nervous about facing off against the Russian athlete, 32.
“I just feel like her game really matches up well against mine,” Williams said, as reported by The New York Times. “I always said her ball somehow lands in my strike zone. I don’t know. It’s just perfect for me.”
Last night’s U.S. Open match wasn’t the first time that Williams faced off against Sharapova. In fact, they played each other 21 times prior to yesterday’s competition. However, out of those games, Sharapova was only victorious twice, with her last “W” taking place in 2004.
Still, Williams’s performance is something to take note of. According to Conchita Martínez, a professional tennis player turned coach, Williams hasn’t played this well since she gave birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian, in 2017.
“Amazing level,” Martínez told The Times. “Serena was moving so well, and she can only hit the ball that well when she is moving that well.”
This latest win almost makes us forget all about last year’s matchup against Naomi Osaka.