Serena, Federer progress at US Open

Serena Williams made the perfect return to the US Open after last year’s controversial final by thrashing her long-time rival Maria Sharapova.

Williams, 37, won 6-1 6-1 in a first-round meeting which ended up lasting just 59 minutes.

Twelve months ago, Williams called the umpire “a cheat” and “a liar” during her loss to Naomi Osaka.

But the mood was rather different as she beat the 32-year-old Russian for the 19th time in a row.

Eighth seed Williams, who is bidding for a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam title and a first since returning from giving birth two years ago, broke Sharapova’s serve five times as she eased into a second-round meeting with fellow American Catherine McNally.

When asked about the decision not to allow Portuguese umpire Carlos Ramos to officiate her matches in New York following their infamous row, Williams said: “I do not know who that is.”

Roger Federer overcame a brief scare to beat Indian qualifier Sumit Nagal in his first-round match at the tournament.

The 38-year-old Swiss, who is bidding for a record sixth title in New York, lost the first set before recovering to win 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-4.

Earlier on Monday, world number one Novak Djokovic progressed with a straight-sets victory over Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena.

The Serb kicked off the defence of his title with a 6-4 6-1 6-4 win. –BBC

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