Serena Williams ran her US Open second round record to 20-0 after hanging on to beat Margarita Gasparyan of Russia 6-2, 6-4 Thursday night.
Serena was in full command of the match up 6-2, 4-2 when Gasparyan clawed back to level and nearly broke to take the lead.
“The only thing that gets me flustered is really me, because I always feel like I’m not winning every point. That doesn’t make sense, and usually I’m just calm,” said Serena hit 27 winners to 16 unforced.
“I just think with the pressure and everything that I’ve felt like I just needed to be perfect. I always feel like I’m not perfect unless I’m perfect. That’s not a fun way to live your career and live your life.
“So it doesn’t matter if I lose 20 points in a row now. I just feel like, it’s okay, it’s fine, I’m here, and I’m happy. I get to play tennis after all these years. So just looking at it this way, it’s nothing really. It’s really just me and my mentality.”
Serena will meet Sloane Stephens on Saturday. After a tough year going into the US Open, the 2017 champion has found her form this week. Today she rolled passed Olga Govortsova 6-2, 6-2.
“I thought I played well today. Obviously getting into a little bit of a better rhythm, feeling my game out a little bit more, getting that confidence back,” Stephens said.
“Today I thought I played well, built on my first match. And then obviously another good opportunity to get out there on Saturday to play against Serena, possibly. Really looking forward to it, another shot just to have an opportunity to play obviously without having played that much this year. It’s just another amazing opportunity to get out there.”
Serena leads Stephens 5-1 but the two haven’t played since the 2015 French Open.
“She’s such a good player, and plays so smooth, sort of like Miloslav Mecir back in the day,” Serena said. “She’ll look like she’s not expending much energy and then bam. There’s five winners. She’s obviously won here before and beaten me before, so she knows how to play well. It’s not easy, so I’m glad I had a tough match today to get ready for that one.”
Former finalist Madison Keys needed less than an hour to destroy Alona Bolsonva 6-2, 6-1. Alize Cornet is next.
Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin came out on top of 17-year-old Canadian lefty Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-3. Kenin has won her last 9 matches in Grand Slam play.
Kenin will next face Tunisian star Ons Jabeur.
Amanda Anisimova dropped the opener but then rallied to beat 16-year-old wildcard Katrina Scott 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Former finalist Victoria Azarenka brushed off countrywoman Aryna Sabalenka and Maria Sakkari advanced.
The big upset of the day was pulled by Tsevetana Pironkova who stunned Garbine Muguruza 7-5, 6-3. The 32-year-old Bulgarian is unranked after missing the last three years on maternity leave. This is her first event since 2017 Wimbledon!
A trio of matches were suspended due to late rain.
Tomorrow, former multi-Slam winners Naomi Osaka, Angelique Kerber and Petra Kvitova are in action.
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