US Open: Serena Williams wins thriller against Cathy McNally


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US Open: Serena Williams wins thriller against Cathy McNally

On a rain-marred day, only five women’s singles matches were played at the US Open on Wednesday. Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina and Madison Keys were the winners of three matches among the five. 2019 French Open champion Ashleigh Barty, and six-time US Open champion Serena Williams were the other two.

The second-seeded Barty defeated Lauren Davis 6-2, 7-6(2) in two hours and three minutes to reach the third round. Barty controlled the first set thoroughly except for one game in which she was broken back but the 23-year-old did not let that brief slide affect her game plan in the set thereafter.

In the second set, it was the American who secured a lead after breaking Barty’s serve in the fifth game. Davis consolidated the break in the next game but a wobble in the 10th game while serving for the set allowed Barty to get back into the set.

In the tie-break, Barty dominated her 73rd ranked opponent to take the win without any further drama. Barty put in just 54% of her first serves in but won a high 78% points behind those. Davis put in a relatively higher 63% first serves in but won only 54% points off those.

Barty hit 35 winners to Davis’ 13, which offset the 38 unforced errors she had in the match. Barty awaits the winner of the Maria Sakkari-Shuai Peng match. The match had to be postponed to Thursday after rains affected play in the outer courts.

In the last evening session match, former world no. 1 and the eighth-seeded Williams came from a set down to defeat resilient compatriot and teen Cathy McNally. Williams won 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 in an hour and 54 minutes. Williams lost her serve only once in the match.

The break of serve happened in the opening set with the 17-year-old McNally not getting any advantage off Williams’ serve in the latter two sets. Whereas, Williams who converted none of the three break points she had on McNally’s serve in the first set would break her serve thrice in the latter two sets.

The 38-year-old hit 31 winners and had 28 unforced errors to McNally’s 16 winners and 30 unforced errors. Williams will play either Karolina Muchova or the 29th seed Su-Wei Hsieh in the third round.