Serena Williams defeated Maria Sharapova for the 19th time in 22 meetings between the 37-year-old North American and 32-year-old Russian in the first day of Grand Slam Finals at the U.S. Open on Monday.

Serena Williams looked strong as she finished Sharapova 6-1, 6-1 in a very quick game that lasted just 59 minutes at the U.S. Open. By contrast, Roger Federer took two hours and nine minutes to beat Sumit Nagal the same night at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Williams and Sharapova both have the distinction of being two of six women to have won the Career Grand Slam in the past and to have been ranked No. 1 multiples times. However, the meetings between these two have been quite lopsided. Williams has won the last 19 meetings the two have had since 2003 and there has been talk of bad blood between the two (which Williams has denied).

A recent string of shoulder problems has lowered Sharapova’s ranking down do 87th (She is expected to rise outside of the top 100 after this last loss). Williams herself did not show signs of a back issue she had been dealing with recently. Instead, many noted this looked like her finest performance since coming back to the tour in March 2018 after the birth of her child.


“I just feel like her game really matches up well against mine. I always said her ball somehow lands in my strike zone. I don’t know. It’s just perfect for me,” said Williams.

Williams took control and power early and the first set took 25 minutes to close for the 23-time Grand Slam champion. The pace and aggressiveness continued with Williams stating of Sharapova after the match, “I was not letting her in the match.”

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Sharapova stated that she had a procedure on her shoulder nearly four months ago that has hindered the number of matches she was able to play before unfortunately drawing Williams as her opponent on the first day of the finals. “After the long match against Kontaveit, I struggled with my shoulder for a week or so,” said Williams. “I was trying to get that back on track. I think I hit like over 200 serves in that match. That was a lot compared to what I did in practice beforehand.”

Williams is seeking her record-tying 24th Grand Slam title.

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