American female tennis star, Serena Williams is singing praises for her Russian rival, Maria Sharapova, even after sending the fellow-veteran packing from this year’s US Open.
The last time Serena played at Flushing Meadows was during her infamous meltdown during a loss in the final to Naomi Osaka last year, but she looked cool and calm this time out.
She returned to Arthur Ashe Stadium to find a familiar nemesis in Russia’s Sharapova set up for her in a star-studded match to start US Open play, and the American icon did not disappoint.
The circumstances were unfamiliar for a match up that usually takes place in later rounds of grand slam events, but the result was what the home fans wanted, as Serena cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 win.
With the win, Serena improves to 20-2 all time against the Russian and 8-1 in grand slam play, with Sharapova’s only grand slam victory in the rivalry coming in the 2004 Wimbledon final.
It means Serena continued her dominance against Sharapova, but the American idol remained modest in victory, choosing instead to rain accolades on her vanquished foe.
Serena said after her 59-minute victory: “She’s such a good player. When you play her, you have to be super focused. So every time I come up against her, I just bring out some of my best tennis.”