Serena surges into second round as Halep toppled at US Open

Serena Williams

Williams won 6-4 6-love against Linette who is ranked 68th in the world.

Williams is still on course to meet older sister Venus in the third round, although the prospect of facing world number one Simona Halep - her projected last-16 opponent - has disappeared after the Romanian's shock defeat by Estonia's Kaia Kanepi.

"Once I got settled I started doing what I'm trying to do in practice".

However, if you ask the 36-year-old athlete what her greatest achievement is, chances are she'll forgo mentioning her trophies and titles, and say it's becoming a mother instead.

Williams went all out with her US Open look, pairing the black tutu with a custom pair of glittery silver Nike sneakers, which are also part of the Queen collection.

Williams needed an hour and 10 minutes to get past Linette, growing into the first-round clash and finishing with 23 winners. Yeah, the tutu is easy to play in because I practiced in it before.

Her movement was better than when she reached the Wimbledon final this year, assured rather than electric.

She said: "I nearly died after giving birth to my daughter, Olympia".

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"Olympia doesn't celebrate birthdays", said Williams.

As Halep pondered why she has been unable to produce her best tennis in NY - a semifinal run in 2015 notwithstanding - big-hitting Kanepi was feeling right at home in the Big Apple.

Stephens, the No. 3 seed, defeated Evgeniya Rodina of Russian Federation 6-1, 7-5 in the rebuilt Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Williams said to reporters that the decision was "not a big deal" and that "the Grand Slams have the right to do what they want to do". They always looked so sad and I always felt so sorry for them. You can not say to another event that they have to do another thing.

Defending champion Sloane Stephens encountered late resistance but held on for a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Russian Evgeniya Rodina.

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal advanced to the second round of the U.S. Open when David Ferrer retired in the second set of their all-Spanish matchup.

Two other seeded upsets on the day were Swede Rebecca Peterson coming from a set down to beat No. 27 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 1-6, 6-4, 6-3, and China's Qiang Wang ousting No. 31 Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2, 6-2.

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