The second round in Cincinnati brought one of the matches of the tournament, as Serena Williams met her match with Sam Stosur, who swept aside last week’s one-sided drubbing in emphatic form.
The last time the Australian had got the better of Williams, it was the 2011 US Open final, where she won her maiden Slam title. Since then they have met three times, and Williams has won them all, including leaving the Aussie standing with a 6-0 6-2 win.
This match was polar opposites to the Montreal encounter, with neither player breaking and with textbook serving on both sides, Stosur had the advantage in both tie-breaks, with Williams having to come from 4-0 down in the first tie-break, and in the second, Stosur was within a point of forcing a decider, when Williams fought back from 4-6 down, for a 7-6(7) 7-6(7) win.
"She was up in both of the breakers," Williams said. "I think it was just a great match. She served unbelievably, and I was like, 'I can't lose serve because she's just serving great.' It was really intense.
"She was extremely aggressive today. She made very few unforced errors. She just did everything really well. This is why she was able to win a Grand Slam."
"I actually followed through with all of the things I wanted to do last week," Stosur said. "It was a huge improvement, and I'm really pleased with the way I played. I'm disappointed I had a couple of set points and didn't at least win that set to take it to a third. But I gave myself every chance to try to get through that one. She came up with some really great stuff when it really counted."
Williams faces Flavia Pennetta in the third round, against whom she enjoys a 4-0 lead in their head to head.