If she's slowing down with age, though, it didn't show on Wednesday night. For the first time in four years, 19th seed Williams advanced to the third round of the U.S. Open.
The two-time U.S. Open single's champion looked relaxed as she defeated Timea Bacsinszky 6-1, 6-4 on a humid night in New York. She showed better control of her serve than she had in her first round match and saved all four of the break points that she faced.
"Well, now I’m happy. I won a match again. Finally I did something I couldn’t do the last couple years,” Williams said in her media conference. “That’s good stuff.”
This is her best performance since being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that forced her to withdraw from the tournament in 2011. She'll face Italian Sara Errani in the third round.
“I’ll definitely have to raise my level of play and hit deep, try to make her move," Errani said. Errani beat Australian Anastasia Rodionova 6-4, 7-6 to advance.
Earlier in the night, 2006 champion Maria Sharapova also advanced to the third round, though she had a harder battle than Williams. Sharapova dropped the first set and faced a break point in the second set before surging back to defeat Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
"Overall I felt like in the end I was in much better shape than she was, and I could have played another few sets," Sharapova said. "Mentally that helped me a lot."
Seeded 5th, Sharapova will next face Germany's Sabine Lisicki, who defeated American Madison Brengle in straight sets on Wednesday.
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