Serena Williams begins US Open with a convincing singles win over Angelique Kerber
After a tense start on Court 18, Williams cruised through a four-set battle with Venus Williams to win her second-ever match at the US Open on Thursday.
Kerber was leading after the first set but her game started to unravel as Williams’ uncharacteristically ruthless tactics saw her move to within two points at one stage to open up a 3-1 lead, but Kerber never gave up and recovered to beat Williams 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
The win was Williams’ fourth out of four career US Open titles and sixth in total matches played at the US Open, including two titles last year against Angelique Kerber.
“You could tell it was coming out, as she’s very good at it,” Williams said after the match, in the first set break that came when she found herself in a tricky position after winning a tie-break to extend the set at 3-2.
“She’s been on top for a long time, but I’ve seen a lot of things in her game, and this is the first time ever that I had any issues with her. She was serving very well, and she was doing very well, but at some point, I had to have my own serve for the match.
“Fortunately, I was able to get it in before I got into trouble.”
Williams saved three break points before Kerber took advantage of a drop in her serve to take a 6-4 lead. Williams, who had led 2-0 in the second set, then won in a tight, two-setter, with Kerber surviving a two-point call for a break in a pivotal set.
“She played really well,” Williams said of the game. “She broke me early in the second set and I fought back. She played really well, and that was part of the game plan.”
Kerber, who broke serve in each of the first set matches, made an early return in the second as she held serve to take a 6-4 lead and had a break point in front of a Williams serve at 4-5. Kerber saved the break and broke Williams back, however, with the crowd on their feet, and then she had a final chance to