Serena Williams and her quest for a 23rd grand-slam title got off to a winning start at the US Open after seeing off Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets.
Serena Williams and her quest for a 23rd grand-slam title got off to a winning start at the US Open, the world number one seeing off Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets.
Looking to close in on Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 major crowns, Williams was mostly untroubled as she defeated Makarova 6-3 6-3 in the first round in New York on Tuesday.
Williams - eliminated in the semi-finals of last year's tournament at Flushing Meadows - had only ever lost once in the first round of a grand slam in 64 tries and that record never really looked in doubt against the Russian.
It was a fairly easy start to the first set, with the match on serve until the sixth game, Makarova the first player to blink, her forced forehand error handing Williams the break and the American veteran then held to love for a 5-2 lead at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Some nerves appeared in Williams' game as she attempted to serve out the set, sending a routine volley into the net, but back-to-back aces extinguished the threat of Makarova.
It was more of the same in the second set, though Williams wasted less time, breaking serve to love in the fifth game for a 3-2 advantage.
And it was a lead Williams never relinquished as she powered into the second round, where countrywoman Vania King awaits.
Williams  bt Makarova 6-3 6-3
Williams – 27/22
Makarova – 10/19
Williams – 12
Makarova – 4
BREAK POINTS WON
Williams – 3/8
Makarova – 0/0
FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Williams – 67
Makarova – 58
POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Williams – 90/53
Makarova – 64/50
Williams – 60
Makarova – 43