Serena Williams turned her 30th career meeting with her sister Venus into a one-woman showcase Friday, reaching the US Open fourth round with a swift 6-1, 6-2 victory.
Reluctantly rising to an occasion neither sister enjoys, Serena said she played her best match since she returned in March, more than six months after giving birth to daughter Olympia last September 1.
“I think it’s by far the best match I ever played against her in forever,” she said. “But I don’t know about ever, ever.”
The scoreline equalled Serena’s most lopsided victory over Venus, and took her head-to-head record against her sister to 18-12.
“She played so well, I never got to really even touch any balls,” Venus said. “I don’t think I did a lot wrong. But she just did everything right.
“Obviously that level is definitely where she’s going to want to stay during this whole tournament.
Since falling to Angelique Kerber in the Wimbledon final, Serena had endured erratic results in the hardcourt buildup to the US Open.
But she looked every inch a contender to claim a record seventh US Open crown that would see her equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 major titles.
Next up for her is hard-hitting Estonian Kaia Kanepi, in a battle for a place in the quarterfinals.