It took Serena Williams only 17 minutes to lead 5-0 in the first set against fourth-seeded Victoria Azarenka and even though the second set lived up to the expectations of this high-profile meeting, Azarenka exited in the third round of the US Open with a not so pleasant experience.
To have somebody just going at you like that, it's a little bit painful. You try to do your best, but somebody's on fire.
After losing the first set 6-1, Azarenka started playing more aggressively and the second set produced the level of play worthy of a semifinal. Azarenka bounced back with aggression and deep groundstrokes from 3-5 to 5-5, saving match points in both the games she won, and the set went to a tiebreak which Williams won 7-5.
I have to write the scores of Williams' first three wins at the US Open, it's awe-inspiring, especially considering how long she hadn't played and how sick she was: 6-1 6-1 against Bojana Jovanovski in the first round, 6-0 6-1 against Michaella Krajicek in the second, and now 6-1 7-6(5) in the third.
Williams will next face Ana Ivanovic, who made it to the second week with a 6-3 6-4 victory over American wildcard Sloane Stephens.