Published: Tue, August 27, 2019
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Barty rallies, Kerber falls in 1st round of US Open

Barty rallies, Kerber falls in 1st round of US Open

Berdych, the 2010 Wimbledon runner-up and a 2012 U.S. Open semifinalist, said after the match he was "very close" to considering retirement.

Serena Williams overpowered Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-1 in a first-round matchup between two of tennis' biggest stars at the 2019 U.S. Open.

The outcome registered as a surprise but not quite a shock as Kerber, in recent months, has not looked like the player who won both the USA and the Australian Opens in 2016 before capturing the Wimbledon championship a year ago.

"She would win the title, playing like this", 18-time major champion Chris Evert said about Williams on ESPN's telecast. The 32-year-old Serbian enters the tournament as an 11-10 favorite to secure his fourth U.S. Open crown ever, according to Caesars Sportsbook.

Williams was calm and cool as can be against Sharapova, only rarely showing the slightest hint of emotion with a cry of "Come on!" or by raising a clenched left fist after the shot of the night, a backhand passing victor that saved a break point early in the second set.

The final grand slam of the year has arrived. But she's also 39, had lost in the first round at the French Open and Wimbledon this year and her ranking is down to No. 52.

England levelled the five-match showdown with an incredible one-wicket win at Headingley on Sunday, as Ben Stokes produced one of the greatest innings in Test history with a remarkable 135 not out. She's won six Open titles, but is in a championship rut since returning to the tour in the spring of 2018 after giving birth to her daughter.

She could be just saving herself for the last Slam.

These two have played once, which was 2014 Mexico, a match Barty won in three sets. "I understand you are going to see it. Stokesy was incredible. I think we missed some opportunities and my whole team were glued to it", said Barty, who returned to tennis in 2016 ranked 683 in the world. "Maybe the players she plays aren't as intimidated".

The one added component that she has now that I probably overlook is age and injuries. "But honestly, I wanted to play a little more because I was feeling good on the court and I wanted to get a little more confidence". In just a few hours, tennis fans will find out how this latest head-to-head between the players will turn out.

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