If the first match is any indication, better start engraving Serena Williams’ name on that U.S. Open trophy. The world No. 1, hoping to become the first woman in 27 years to win the calendar Grand Slam, won her first match in a grand total of 21 minutes of playing time, a 6-2, 2-0 victory over No. 86 Vitalia Diatchenko, who was clearly struggling with injury before retiring after losing her eighth straight game.
Some of the highlights and lowlights from the match:
• The first five games took 12 minutes. Then, Diatchenko took a medical timeout which lasted almost as long: seven minutes.
• Despite that timeout, the official time of the first set took 21 minutes (medical timeouts are included). The actual time was closer to 14 minutes. For the regular match, the official time was 30 minutes, though there was 21 minutes of play between the two medical timeouts.
• Serena won 32 points. Diatchenko won five. Serena served four games and lost two points in total. Diatchenko won three points on her serve and was 0-12 on her second serve.