Serena Williams serves during her Women’s Singles second round match against Margarita Gasparyan of Russia on Day Four of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 3, 2020 in New York City.
The march toward a record-tying 24th Grand Slam continues for Serena Williams.
The 38-year-old Williams, who already holds the Open Era record with 23 wins, is moving on to the third round of the US Open after defeating Russia’s Margarita Gasparián 6-2, 6-4 on Thursday night at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.
The third-seeded Williams, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, got out to a fast start and never let up, scoring 27 winners to Gasparián’s 16 and seven aces to the Russian’s one. The win sets up a third-round meeting between Williams and fellow American Sloane Stephens on Saturday. Stephens, the 2017 US Open champ who is seeded 16th, defeated Belarus’ Olga Govortsova 6-2, 6-2 earlier in the day.
Williams, a four-time Olympic champion and six-time US Open champion, finished as runner-up the last two years in New York. Another Grand Slam victory would tie Williams with Margaret Court for the all-time record. Her win Thursday was her 103rd at the tournament, extending the Open Era record she set Tuesday.
The US Open, which is taking place with no ticketed fans and other precautions due to the coronavirus pandemic, continues to be a showcase for American women. Earlier in the day, No. 2 Sofia Kenin, the reigning Australian Open champ, swept past Canada’s Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-3, and No. 7 Madison Keys defeated Spain’s Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov 6-2, 6-1. Kenin and Williams are now the top remaining seeds after No. 1 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic was eliminated Wednesday.
Also advancing was 19-year-old Amanda Anisimova, seeded No. 22, who beat fellow American Katrina Scott 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. Scott, who is 16 years old, was playing in her first Grand Slam tournament as a wild card.
Three other U.S. women played Thursday, and two more could still advance. Caty McNally and Sachia Vickery were midway through their matches when play was suspended due to weather. Five other U.S. women won their second-round matches on Wednesday — and the two who were eliminated were playing other Americans. One of those who lost Wednesday was No. 13 Alison Riske, who was upset by 20-year-old Ann Li.
All said, of the 31 U.S. women who started the tournament Monday, at least 10 will still be playing in the round of 32.
Meanwhile, on the men’s side No. 19 Taylor Fritz also advanced on Wednesday. Joining him in the third round with wins Thursday are Frances Tiafoe and J.J. Wolf, who is in the tournament as a wild card.
The third round will be held Friday and Saturday, with the tournament wrapping up next weekend.