• US Open

Serena Williams through, tearful Erani out

ESPN staff
August 29, 2013
Serena always improving

Top-seeded Serena Williams overcame a slow start for a 6-3 6-0 victory over Galina Voskoboeva. "I'll have to think about it and see what I can do better, but it was okay," she said.

The first set was dicey at times and took 44 minutes to close out. Chasing a ball at the net while receiving at 5-3, Williams slipped and fell on her backside. But she got to the ball and saved game point. Two points later, she closed out the set. The second set took only 27 minutes.

Fourth seed Sara Errani's eyes filled with tears when describing how she felt during her 6-3 6-1 loss to her Italian friend and team-mate, Flavia Pennetta. "I don't want to play. I don't want to stay out there on the court," she said.

Errani came into the US Open with the highest seeding ever for an Italian woman at a major and said the pressure of the high seeding and the high expectations that comes with that is getting to her. "I don't know why, but I'm not enjoying going on the courts, and that is the worst thing a player can have," she said. "Because if you go there and you fight and you lose, not my problem. But the problem is, if you go there and you are not fighting. That is my best thing that I always had as my good thing. And I have to find a way."

Pennetta took control of this match by breaking Errani's serve in the first game, then never looked back. She finished with 33 winners to 12 for Errani, who made the semi-finals here last year after reaching the final in the French Open.

"We have to find the solution, because I think these things happens to everybody when you feel on the top and the people playing against you have no pressure and you have a lot of pressure," Errani said.

There were no such problems for second seed Victoria Azarenka in her 6-3 6-1 win over Aleksandra Wozniak which took her just over an hour.

Equally quick was Caroline Wozniacki who blew away South Africa's Chanelle Scheepers 6-1 6-2.

Eighth seed Angelique Kerber withstood a tough fight from teenager Eugenie Bouchard but won 6-4 2-6 6-3. Kerber, who has spent the last year in the top 10, says she embraces the expectations that come with the ranking. "Of course I feel the pressure, but right now I'm not thinking about this," she said. "I just try to give my best and play my tennis and feel good."

Elsewhere in early play around Flushing Meadows, Errani's doubles partner, Roberta Vinci, defeated Lucie Safarova 4-6 6-1 6-2, while this year's Wimbledon runner-up, Sabine Lisicki defeated Paula Ormaechea6-2 6-3.

Other winners included Jelena Jankovic, Kaia Kanepi, Alize Cornet and Svetlana Kuznetsova, who, besides Williams, is the only player left in the women's field to have won the US Open.

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This article first appeared on ESPN.com

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