Serena Williams wins U.S. Open opener, nears Venus match


Serena Williams opened her bid for a seventh U.S. Open singles title by beating Poland’s Magda Linette 6-4, 6-0, moving one match from a potential third-round showdown with older sister Venus.

“The first set was tight. It was my first back here in New York, so that wasn’t the easiest,” Williams told the crowd. “Once I got settled, I started doing what I’m trying to do in practice.”

Williams dispatched Linette in 70 minutes at Arthur Ashe Stadium, improving to 18-0 all-time in U.S. Open first-round matches.

Earlier Monday, Venus beat 2004 U.S. Open champ Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.

The Williams sisters are each win one from their earliest meeting at a Grand Slam since their first at the 1998 Australian Open.

Serena is seeded 17th, one spot behind Venus, after missing last year’s U.S. Open to give birth to daughter Olympia during the tournament.

The Williams’ draws opened up earlier Monday when Simona Halep became the first top-seeded woman to lose in the U.S. Open first round in Open Era history. Serena or Venus could have played Halep in the fourth round.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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U.S. OPEN: Scores | Men’s Draw | Women’s Draw