I needed to start slow: Serena

On Monday, Serena emerged victorious over long-time rival Maria Sharapova, defeating the Russian player 6-1, 6-1 in just 59 minutes.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion dominated from the start. The one-sided victory extended her dominance over Sharapova to 20-2.

"I just feel like her game really matches up well against mine," Williams explained in her post-match press conference. "I always said her ball somehow lands in my strike zone. I don't know. It's just perfect for me."

Williams had an answer for everything that Sharapova sent her way. She scored more than twice the winners with 16 for Williams against six of Sharapova's. The American star also made fewer unforced errors, registering 12 to 20 from Sharapova. Williams out-aced her opponent five to one.

Sharapova could not break her serve even once, with the American saving all five break points faced in the second set.

For Williams, who has not lost to Sharapova since 2004, it was not a tough opening round test after struggling with a back injury earlier in the summer.

Williams acknowledged that the opening match was exactly what she needed to get her US Open campaign off on the right foot.

"I really sometimes tend to start slow. It actually almost helps me," Williams said.

Coming up next in the second round for Williams will be American wildcard Catherine McNally.

--IANS

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