(CNN) — The last time Serena Williams had played in Arthur Ashe Stadium — a dramatic loss to Naomi Osaka from the 2018 US Open final — it led her to start seeing a therapist and kept her out of wanting to pick up a tennis racket.
It is a story that has been often: A year ago, a then-20-year-old Naomi Osaka had prevailed from her idol 6-2to win her first big, but it had been overshadowed by controversy.” Serena Williams clashed with chair umpire Carlos Ramos, culminating when he docked her a match for calling him a”thief.” Around Arthur Ashe Stadium, while the trophy was recognized by Osaka, boos rang Following the match. Osaka wept.
The mood Monday felt much different.
A laser-focused Serena Williams entered the scene to roars from the audience. The opponent of the 37-year-old American was a one in five-time grand slam champion Maria Sharapova — though remarkably the two had never faced each other in Flushing Meadows. This did not have the sense of a US Open first-round game.
The outcomes were the same as the last 15 years: Serena Williams, seeded eighth, won as she seeks her 24th big 43, 6-1 improving her record from the Russian to 20-2.
During her interview, the crowd was addressed by Serena Williams after the game .
“Thank you for supporting me,” she said. “I’ve said it once, but I’ve had a great deal of tough matches here and a great deal of tough losses, but coming out tonight makes everything worthwhile.”
A US Tennis Association spokesman told CNN that Ramos wouldn’t serve as chair umpire for some of the Williams sisters’ matches at the 2019 US Open.
When requested in her post-match press conference because of her reaction to the USTA deciding to not possess the Portuguese umpire officiate her games, Serena Williams responded:”I really don’t know who that is.”
Sharapova, 32, who has been plagued by injuries this season, has been ranked 87th going into the US Open. She will fall from the top 100.
“This is a really distinct chapter in my profession,” Sharapova said.
“It is not a simple road. It’s never been. However, I moved through a shoulder procedure about four months ago. To locate myself playing with folks enthusiastic about the matchup at the united states Open, it is a major thing. I am blessed to be a part of that.
“It is easy to be frustrated after having a game in this way. However, when I am personally discouraged, I wake up tomorrow, I do not feel as though I need to head outside, train, and be better, that’s more discouraging than the result.”
A start was highlighted by the match to the final major of the tennis season that had eight US Open winners playing on Monday.
Venus Williams, Djokovic, Federer win
One of these former winners is. The American is now 21-0 in the first round of the US Open in her career. She is the oldest player in the singles draw by 24 years of the women .
“I love, love, enjoy my job,” Venus Williams said to ESPN on daddy. “I really get to work outside. My whole job is to stay fit for a six pack. You don’t get much better than that. I adore what I do, and I will do it provided a I can.” She will face No. 5 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine at the next round.
Novak Djokovic, aiming to be the first guy to win back-to-back names as Roger Federer at 2008 at the US Open, started his name shield with a 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 triumph over Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain. The win improves Djokovic record in the usa Open . The Serbian is currently 34-1 in his final 35 matches in grand slam tournaments.
“It was a good performance,” Djokovic stated. “I believe I could play better, but it is kind of expected for the very first match and after that, you understand, I’m hoping that I can build from here.”
The third-seeded Swiss has not won this grand slam event in 11 years while Federer is among the favorites. And while Federer and Rafael Nadal haven’t faced each other in a US Open, the 20-time major winner now has confronted a Nagal. That could be Sumit Nagal of India, a qualifier ranked 190th that hasn’t won a tour-level match. After a hiccup in dropping the first set, Federer went on to win 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. His first-round record at the US Open now stands in 19-0.
“It was a challenging first set for me since I had the lead so things were looking good for me, however (Nagal) came and played very strong,” Federer, who ended with 57 unforced errors, said to ESPN. “Credit to him to actually play with a strong first pair. I had been missing a great deal of balls and that I had been trying to cut back to the mistakes and hopefully serve a bit better since that let me down. All of it came back just in time. In the conclusion, I really played good tennis, so I’m happy.”
Barty, Pliskova endure 1st-round games to progress
A surprise was almost to begin the US Open at the girls singles draw. But crisis has been averted, and the pursuit for the world No. 1 ranking is penalized.
No. 2 Ashleigh Barty overcame a dreadful start, bouncing back after being down a pair, to conquer No. 80 Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan 1-6, 6-3, 6-2. The Australian is among 3 girls, linking No. 3 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic and No. 4 Simona Halep of Romania, in contention to regain that the world No. 1 position, which is currently held by Osaka.
Barty, the French Open champion, is the frontrunner, monitoring Osaka by 105 points. She held the top spot for seven months.
“Maybe not the ideal beginning, maybe not the ideal beginning, but it’s what it is,” Barty, who had 36 unforced errors in the game, said. “We could find a way then to get in the game and be patient and actually just kind of lock down and wait till I got exactly the correct balls and appropriate patterns I desired.
“This was probably the biggest change in the third and second is that I managed to secure more of those patterns more frequently and ultimately construct pressure to make more chances to split.”
Pliskova, who needs to achieve the quarterfinals to have a chance survived two tiebreaks against fellow Czech Tereza Martincova, who is ranked 138th, ahead of the second round.
“Not ideal, but I’m through so that’s essential,” Pliskova explained. “Of course, as I said before, the initial rounds they’re always just a little bit nervous, I would say, for most of the players. Does not help that you play somebody from the own state, since then it adds some extra nerves”
Osaka must defend her name to maintain the No. 1 position. She will play Russian Anna Blinkova on Tuesday.

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