After dismantling former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone in the first round of the 2013 U.S. Open, Serena Williams had a high level of dominance to live up to. Second-round opponent Galina Voskoboeva put forth a valiant effort, but Williams advanced once again with relative ease by a score of 6-3, 6-0, according to U.S. Open Tennis on Twitter.
Serena was set to face the 82nd-ranked Kazakhstan native on Wednesday, but inclement weather caused several matches to be postponed until Thursday. The disruption in routine simply didn't impact Williams, though, as she rolled into the third round.
Considering Williams is the No. 1 player in the world and has lost just four matches all year, Voskoboeva was at a huge disadvantage heading into the match no matter how you slice it. According to ESPN's Chris McKendry, Serena had lost only one second-round match at a Grand Slam heading into Thursday's affair.
Williams improved upon her stellar second-round record, and she did so in vintage Serena fashion. Her serve was never broken during the match, and while she only had 16 winners, her 13 unforced errors were more than reasonable, and served as a telltale sign that she is playing mistake-free tennis right now.
The first set was far from easy for Williams as the tall, lanky Voskoboeva was able to hold her first three service games. Once Serena earned her first break of the match, however, it seemed as though the floodgates had opened. Williams cruised to a 6-3 win in the first set, and she carried that momentum over into the second set as well.
Power always has been and always will be Serena's hallmark, but her all-court game was on display against Voskoboeva. A prime example of that came with a 2-0 lead in the second set as she attacked a Voskoboeva drop shot in order to win the game, as seen in this video:
It would have been very easy for Serena to lose focus in this match as absolutely everyone expected her to win, but she found ways to keep herself engaged. Even while leading 4-0 and a set, Williams got pumped when she took a 5-0 lead due to the fact that Voskoboeva was threatening to get on the board in the second set.
This win allows Serena to continue her hunt for a fifth career U.S. Open championship, and the second in as many years. Williams should have a much tougher match on her hands in the third round, though, as she will coincidentally meet another player from Kazakhstan in the form of Yaroslava Shvedova.
Serena is 2-0 in her career against Shvedova, although Shvedova did manage to push her to a decisive third set at Wimbledon last year. Shvedova was ranked as highly as No. 25 in the world last year, so she is no pushover.
Even so, Serena is arguably playing the best tennis of her storied career right now, and it seems like the only player capable of beating her is herself. As long as Williams doesn't allow her emotions to get the best of her, a deep run and potentially another title seem likely.
Voskoboeva put up a good fight on Thursday, but she simply ran into a buzz saw that seems determined to go the distance.
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