US Open: Smooth sailing Serena storms into the second week, claims Open Era record 307th Grand Slam victory

World number one Serena Williams broke yet another record at the U.S. Open Saturday afternoon, storming past Sweden’s Johanna Larsson 6-2, 6-1 to claim an Open Era record 307th Grand Slam victory, surpassing Martina Navratilova’s all-time record of 306.

Williams Wows En Route to Taking Opener

Opening the match on the front foot, Williams wasted no time in claiming the first break of the match in the second game to open an early 2-0 lead. With Larsson seemingly unable to find an answer to the world number one’s sheer firepower off the ground, it was only a matter of time until Williams ruthlessly consolidated the early break, doing so at love, to establish an early three-game cushion on the Swede.

Johanna Larsson hits a forehand during her third-round match against Serena Williams at the 2016 U.S. Open. | Photo: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images North America
Johanna Larsson hits a forehand during her third-round match against Serena Williams at the 2016 U.S. Open. | Photo: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images North America

Larsson, who equaled her career-best finish at the U.S. Open by virtue of defeating Denisa Allertova in the second round, proved just why she is currently in the midst of a career-best season, getting on the scoreboard a game later, much to the delight of an appreciative crowd inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.

From there, the set would go with serve until the eighth game where Williams unsurprisingly began to take a stand from the receiving end once more, withstanding some inspired play from the Swede to eventually seal the opener, 6-2.

Serena Williams hits a forehand during her third-round match against Johanna Larsson at the 2016 U.S. Open. | Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images North America
Serena Williams hits a forehand during her third-round match against Johanna Larsson at the 2016 U.S. Open. | Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images North America

“Wonder Woman” Williams Wills Her Way to Victory

After trading holds to begin the second set, Williams would soon pick up right where she left off in the opening set, following up another routine hold with her third break of the match, before wasting no time in consolidating the early advantage, doing so at love. A set and 4-1 to the good, the world number one was simply not content with a single-break advantage and was quick to pounce on any look at a second, which she would take at the first time of asking to take a commanding 5-1 lead.

With a chance to serve out the victory on her own terms, Williams needed no second invitation, reeling off the last 14 points of the match to seal an Open Era record 307th Grand Slam victory in just 60 minutes, surpassing Martina Navratilova’s all-time record of 306.

Serena Williams celebrates after winning a point during her third-round match against Johanna Larsson at the 2016 U.S. Open. | Photo: Chris Trotman/Getty Images North America
Serena Williams celebrates after winning a point during her third-round match against Johanna Larsson at the 2016 U.S. Open. | Photo: Chris Trotman/Getty Images North America

“Wow, that’s pretty awesome, and honestly, there’s no better place to do it than here, where everything first started,” Williams told ESPN’s Rennae Stubbs in her post-match interview. “That’s great!”

Next Up for Williams: Yaroslava Shvedova

For her 308th victory at a major and a place in the last eight, Williams will meet Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova, who overcame a late surge from China’s Zhang Shuai earlier in the day to seal the victory in straight sets. In four previous meetings against the Kazakh, the world number one has gone four for four, and will need to play her best tennis if she hopes to continue this record, knowing how dangerous Shvedova can be when at her best.

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