Published : 2013-08-27 19:46
Updated : 2013-08-27 19:46
NEW YORK (AP) ― Serena Williams was so dominant in the first round of the U.S. Open, her opponent really wanted a hug.
So midway through the second set of defending champion Williams’ 6-0, 6-1 victory Monday night, Francesca Schiavone wandered behind the baseline, found a ball boy and enveloped him in a full-fledged embrace.
“I don’t need a hug in that moment,” Schiavone joked afterward. “I need a game.”
It was that kind of evening for Schiavone, an often-demonstrative player who is certainly no pushover: She won the 2010 French Open, was the runner-up at that Grand Slam tournament a year later, and twice has been a quarterfinalist at the U.S. Open.
She’s been ranked as high as No. 4 but is 54th this week.
“I knew playing a former Grand Slam champion in the first round was a really, really tough draw,” Williams said, “so I tried to be super serious.”
All told, the match only took an hour. And it ended right in time, as far as Williams was concerned, because a light rain began to fall just at the conclusion in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Eventually, play was suspended for the day, and the last scheduled match of the night session, 17-time major champion Roger Federer vs. 62nd-ranked Grega Zemlja of Slovenia, was postponed until Tuesday.
The No. 1-ranked and No. 1-seeded Williams was nearly perfect, never facing a break point, making only eight unforced errors, compiling a 13-3 edge in winners, hitting serves faster than 115 mph, and taking the first 10 games.
Schiavone didn’t help herself by hitting eight double-faults.