NEW YORK: Venus Williams ended a run of suffering first-round exits at Grand Slam tournaments by walloping China's Zheng Saisai 6-1 6-0 on the opening day of the U.S. Open on Monday.
The 39-year-old American had failed to win a match at this year's French Open and Wimbledon tournaments but on Monday showed some of the form that had earned her two U.S. Open titles.
Zheng failed to make much of an impact throughout the match, firing off just six winners compared to her opponent's 25.
Williams capped a ruthless performance by firing down a 115mph ace on match point.
More than two decades after she made her U.S. Open debut, Williams said she was not about to get carried away with the win.
Considering she has been stuck on 49 singles titles since 2016, Williams knows that tougher challenges lie ahead if she wants to complete that half century at Flushing Meadows.
"I was happy with today, so I'm not going to ask for more. Whether the win is easy or whether it's tough, a win is a win," Williams, who won the last of her seven majors at Wimbledon in 2008, told reporters.
"Getting to the next round is about getting the win on your side and building yourself up during the tournament and patting yourself on the back for every good achievement."
(Reporting By Amy Tennery, editing by Pritha Sarkar)