After a bit of a suspect start, Serena Williams went into obliterate-mode and cruised past Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 6-0 to advance to the fourth round of the 2012 U.S. Open.
Serena needed just one hour and 21 minutes to dispatch of Makarova.
Eight games into this one, it was an outcome no one could have seen coming.
This contest was tied at four games apiece in the first set. That's when Serena found her game. The Los Angeles Times' Diane Pucin captured this post-match quote from the tennis legend:
At four-all in the first set when I was trying to get that break, I started playing a little better; a little more consistent.
At that point, Serena simply began to overpower her opponent and gain a bit of revenge in the process.
Makarova eliminated Serena at the 2011 Australian Open. In that match, she was able to use her precision control to slide winners past Serena and run her ragged in the process.
Serena is a different player now.
She is in far better shape and form now as she is further removed from her illness. She is moving fantastically across the court, which enabled her to get to balls that she was not getting to in her Aussie Open defeat.
Her improved stamina was also on display, as she got stronger as the match wore on.
Serena is not going to be beat at this tournament if she continues to play like this.
She has her whole game working, and any opponent is going to have a hard time breaking her.
In the match today, she blasted eight aces and captured 32 of her 40 service points—an incredible performance that should be heeded as a warning shot for the remaining field.