Serena Williams had to wait until about midnight local time to start her match, but she made it count with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Yaroslava Shvedova.
Sports Illustrated's Beyond the Baseline discussed the win and what it means going forward:
The final match of the day could not begin until after Lleyton Hewitt and Juan Martin del Potro completed their battle in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Of course, the two talented players battled for five sets and over four hours before Hewitt finished the upset.
Still, this delay did not seem to affect Williams, who was excellent both with and without the serve.
The 16-time Grand Slam winner had six aces to only two double faults and was especially excellent on her first serve, winning 28 of 33 points. Additionally, she won 54 percent of her return points while earning four of eight break points.
US Open Tennis on Twitter provided a look at one of her more impressive points in the match:
Shvedova played well and managed an average serve speed of 100 mph, but this is the third straight Grand Slam in which she was eliminated in the second round. She has twice reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros, but she has not been quite as strong on hard courts.
Then again, the 25-year-old player should feel little shame in losing to the No. 1 player in the world.
Williams has been playing as well as at any point in her career, compiling a 60-4 record entering the U.S. Open. She has eight titles this season, including a win at the French Open, and she is looking to defend her title at Flushing Meadows over the next two weeks.
With the win, she moves onto the fourth round to set up an exciting matchup against fellow American Sloane Stephens. The two last faced each other in the Australian Open with the 20-year-old Stephens pulling off the upset in the quarterfinals.
While the young star has loads of potential, fans can be certain that Williams will not take her opponent for granted this time around.
In addition to the singles tournament, Williams will compete with her sister on Saturday as part of the doubles draw. Hopefully, for her sake, she gets a lot of sleep after her late night of action on Day 5 at the U.S. Open.
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