Serena Williams vs. Johanna Larsson: Score and Reaction from 2016 US Open

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 3, 2016

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 03:  Serena Williams of the United States returns a shot to Johanna Larsson of Sweden during her third round Women's Singles match on Day Six of the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 3, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

World No. 1 Serena Williams continued her cakewalk through the early stages of the U.S. Open on Saturday when she dispatched Johanna Larsson, 6-2, 6-1, in third-round play at Arthur Ashe Stadium.  

Williams is now 3-0 all-time against Larsson and has yet to drop a set at this year's final Grand Slam. Serena also won her 307th match in a Grand Slam event to pass Martina Navratilova for the most ever in the Open era, according to the Guardian's Bryan Armen Graham

"Sometimes I don’t even know that I’m hitting these milestones," Williams said, per Graham. "But some of them I’m really proud of. This one’s kind of cool."

Given the polar-opposite resumes that Williams and Larsson carried into Saturday's afternoon session in Queens, New York, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Serena made light work of her Swedish opponent. 

David Waldstein of the New York Times characterized Serena's third-round match as a mere formality just minutes into the proceedings: 

While Williams has 22 major titles—including one at Wimbledon this year—Larsson is the world's 47th-ranked player and was in uncharted territory on one of the game's biggest stages.

Specifically, Larsson was making her first third-round appearance at a Grand Slam this year after she was bounced in the first round at Wimbledon and second round at the Australian and French Opens. 

That said, Larsson did apply a bit of pressure and nearly secured the tournament's first break against Serena when the world No. 1 was ad-out up 3-1 in the first set. But as it turns out, the threat of a stolen game came and went in a matter of seconds, as Williams worked her way back to deuce and held for a 4-1 lead. 

From there on out, it was smooth sailing for Serena—who imposed her will with 24 winners and a 53 percent conversion rate on receiving points. 

The tournament's official Twitter account relayed video of the winner that helped Serena clinch the first set and her second break point of the match:

The second set was more of the same for Williams, who used smashing cross-court forehands and a steady, power-packed backhand to keep Larsson scurrying across the baseline all day long. 

To that end, Larsson covered an average of 5.2 feet per point, while Serena was at 4.2 feet as she dictated the action throughout. 

Now safely into the round of 16, Williams will be a heavy favorite when she faces world No. 52 Yaroslava Shvedova, who beat Zhang Shuai, 6-2, 7-5, on Saturday. 

She's a robust 4-0 lifetime against Shvedova, so it would be quite a surprise to see the world's top-ranked player drop a set, much less lose outright, as she seeks to make amends for last year's semifinal exit at this event. 

     

Post-Match Reaction

"It was something I didn't even know about until Wimbledon," Williams said of her Grand Slam milestone, per WTATennis.com. "I was like, 'Oh, I have a new goal.'"

"It was a really good match for me because she played a different type of game," Serena added. "It was really good for me to have a different type of rhythm and just to move around. Overall, it was pretty good."

"I feel like I have been doing pretty good," she said, per Reuters (via the New York Times). "I have been being moving a lot. So far, so good."

    

Stats courtesy of USOpen.org