Serena Williams battled past Kristie Ahn to secure a 7-5 6-2 victory in the first round of the US Open at Flushing Meadows.
Williams got off to a slow start, showing signs of nervousness early in the first set, but kicked her game into high gear in the second, firing off 13 aces and 28 winners during the match and harnessing her powerful return to keep her opponent on the run.
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Williams claimed a record 102nd US Open match victory in the process of wrapping up the match. She also recorded her first straight-sets win since the sport was put on a coronavirus hiatus.
"I was really happy with how I just fought for every point," Williams said in an on-court interview after the match.
She had to regain her focus, she said, and "just be Serena and close it out."

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In typical fashion, Williams harnessed her powerful serve to her advantage, winning 85% of her first-serve points, with a fastest serve of 124 mph.
"The hardest is making sure you stay pumped," Williams said of the lack of fans. "For me it was clearly easy because I'm always overly passionate. I love being passionate. It's what I'm best at."
She had a frustrating stretch of performances leading up to the tournament, losing in the Top Seed Open quarter-finals before crashing out of the Western & Southern Open in the third round.
"I've been losing matches on literally one point that could swing a match a different way. I've been playing a ton of tight matches," Williams said.
I felt like, all right, I just wanted to be Serena focused from the first point to the last point no matter what happens.
Williams, who reached the final of the US Open in her last two campaigns, is gunning for her first Grand Slam title since 2017 to equal Margaret Court's record in a depleted field in which six of the top 10 players are not competing this year.
She next faces Margarita Gasparyan of Russia in the second round.
Additional reporting by Reuters
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