Serena Williams is the winningest player in U.S. Open history after defeating Kristie Ahn in her first-round match on Tuesday (September 1). The straight-set victory was her 102nd win at the tournament and moved her ahead of Chris Evert on the all-time list. Williams has won the tournament six times and is hoping to tie Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles with a victory in Flushing, Queens.
This victory was different than all her others because it took place on an empty court because fans were not allowed to attend due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"I think the hardest [thing] is making sure you stay pumped," she told reporters. "For me, it was clearly easy because I'm always overly passionate. I love being passionate. It's what I'm best at."
Serena will now face Russia's Margarita Gasparyan in the second round as she chases Court's record.
While Serena made history, her sister Venus did not fare as well. Venus lost her opening round match against Karolina Muchova in straight sets. It was the first time in her career that she has been eliminated in the first round of the U.S. Open. She has been struggling this year, with a 1-7 record. She told reporters that she isn't bothered by it and still loves to play and compete.
"I love this game," she told reporters. "I'm good at what I do."
"It's easy to stay motivated and excited about doing something so amazing. Not many people get to do this."
Photo: Getty Images