Serena demolishes Schiavone
New York - Serena Williams needed just one hour on Monday to remind everyone why she remains the overwhelming favourite to win the US Open.
In one of the most one-sided matches seen on the Arthur Ashes center court, Williams demolished Italy's Francesca Schiavone 6-0 6-1 with an ominous display of precision and power.
The American showed no mercy against her opponent, who won the French Open in 2010 and was a finalist in Paris the following year, conceding just 23 points in the 60-minute romp.
"I'm really excited," she said in a courtside interview.
"I knew playing a former grand slam champion in the first round was a really tough draw so I decided to be super serious."
As the most fearsome player of her generation, the 31-year-old Williams has made a career out of destroying her rivals but has rarely been as impressive as she was on Monday.
With the New York crowd whooping and hollering in awe, Williams raced through the opening set in just 23 minutes, sealing it with a thunderous ace down the middle.
The world number one jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second leaving Schiavone cursing in desperation. Exasperated, she turned and hugged a ball boy, eliciting sympathetic groans from the crowd but not a hint of pity from Williams.
The Italian did at least manage to avoid the dreaded 'double bagel' - the ultimate humiliation for a tennis professional - when she held serve in the fifth game.
But it was a just a temporary reprieve as Williams moved in for the kill, reeling off the next two games to seal a second round meeting with Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan.
As a statement of intent, Williams could not have been any clearer about her ambitions at Flushing Meadows over the next two weeks.
With 16 grand slams titles already under her belt, she is already assured of her place in the pantheon of tennis greats but shows no signs of slowing down.
Williams won her first US Open in 1999 when she was just 17. Last year, she won her fourth, aged 30. If she wins again this time, she will become the oldest female champion in New York since tennis turned professional in 1968.
US Open results on Monday at Flushing Meadows (x denotes seeded player):
Richard Gasquet (FRA x8) bt Michael Russell (USA) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2
Stephane Robert (FRA) bt Albano Olivetti (FRA) 6-3, 6-3, 6-4
Guillaume Rufin (FRA) bt Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 2-6, 2-6, 6-1
Dmitry Tursunov (RUS x32) bt Aljaz Bedene (SLO) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0
Feliciano Lopez (ESP x23) bt Florent Serra (FRA) 6-7 (4/7), 6-2, 6-3, 6-3
Bradley Klahn (USA) bt Kenny De Schepper (FRA) 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 7-6 (7/0), 7-6 (7/4)
Dudi Sela (ISR) bt Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) 7-6 (7/2), 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 5-7, 6-4
Janko Tipsarevic (SRB x18) bt Pablo Cuevas (URU) 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3 - retired
Andreas Haider-Maurer (AUT) bt Ernests Gulbis (LAT x30) 3-6, 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-4
Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) bt Andrej Martin (SVK) 6-4, 7-6 (7/2), 7-5
Roberto Bautista (ESP) bt Thomaz Belluci (BRA) 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
David Ferrer (ESP x4) bt Nick Kyrgios (AUS) 7-5, 6-3, 6-2
Tommy Robredo (ESP x19) bt Marinko Matosevic (AUS) 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 6-3, 6-2
Frank Dancevic (CAN) bt Robin Haase (NED) 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7/3)
Bernard Tomic (AUS) bt Albert Ramos (ESP) 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7/1), 6-3
Daniel Evans (GBR) bt Kei Nishikori (JPN x11) 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
Ivan Dodig (CRO) bt Fernando Verdasco (ESP x27) 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3
Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) bt Rhyne Williams (USA) 6-3, 4-6, 1-6, 7-5, 6-0
Rafael Nadal (ESP x2) bt Ryan Harrison (USA) 6-4, 6-2, 6-2
Serena Williams (USA x1) bt Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 6-0, 6-1
Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) bt Monica Niculescu (ROM) 6-4, 6-3
Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) bt Olga Puchkova (RUS) 6-1, 6-0
Patricia Mayr (AUT) bt Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK x29) 7-6 (7/2), 6-3
Jamie Hampton (USA x23) bt Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) 6-4, 6-2
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) bt Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) 6-1, 1-6, 6-1
Urszula Radwanska (POL) bt Irina Begu (ROM) 6-1, 6-3
Sloane Stephens (USA x15) bt Mandy Minella (LUX) 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5)
Venus Williams (USA) bt Kirsten Flipkens (BEL x12) 6-1, 6-2
Zheng Jie (CHN) bt Kiki Bertens (NED) 6-1, 6-3
Coco Vandeweghe (USA) bt Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) 6-4, 7-6 (7/5)
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP x18) bt Lauren Davis (USA) 6-0, 6-0
Kaia Kanepi (EST x25) bt Vania King (USA) 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-1
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) bt Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (7/4)
Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) bt Karolina Pliskova (CZE) 4-6, 6-4, 7-5
Angelique Kerber (GER x8) bt Lucie Hradeck (CZE) 6-1, 6-1
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x3) bt Silvia Soler Espinosa (ESP) 6-1, 6-2
Maria Teresa Torro Flor (ESP) bt Marina Erakovic (NZL) 6-0, 6-4
Ashleigh Barty (AUS) bt Estrella Cabeza (ESP) 6-1, 6-4
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x32) bt Virginie Razzano (FRA) 7-5, 6-0
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS x24) bt Polona Hercog (SLO) 6-2, 6-4
Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) bt Mathilde Johansson (FRA) 6-3, 6-1
Paula Ormaechea (ARG) bt Kimiko Date Krumm (JPN) 6-3, 7-6 (9/7)
Sabine Lisicki (GER x16) bt Vera Dushevina (RUS) 6-2, 7-6 (7/3)
Jelena Jankovic (SRB x9) bt Madison Keys (USA) 6-3, 6-4
Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) bt Mnica Puig (PUR) 6-4, 3-6, 7-5
Kurumi Nara (JPN) bt Alexandra Cadantu (ROM) 6-2, 6-2
Sorana Cirstea (ROM x19) bt Sharon Fichman (CAN) 7-5, 5-7, 6-1
Laura Robson (GBR x30) bt Lourdes Domnguez (ESP) 7-5, 6-0
Caroline Garcia (FRA) bt Shelby Rogers (USA) 6-3, 6-2
Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) bt Petra Cetkovsk (CZE) 1-6, 6-4, 6-1
Li Na (CHN x5) bt Olga Govortsova (BLR) 6-2, 6-2