(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
NEW YORK (AP) Even before Serena Williams set foot in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday night, her path through the U.S. Open to complete a true Grand Slam became a lot easier thanks to losses by other top women.
And when it was the No. 1-seeded American's turn to play her first-round match, she was not tested one bit by a woman who appeared overwhelmed by the opponent, the occasion and, to make matters worse, an injured left foot.
So Williams moved a step closer to tennis' first calendar-year Grand Slam since 1988 without much of a workout, reaching the second round when 86th-ranked Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia stopped playing while behind 6-0, 2-0. Williams was out there for only 27 minutes and took 32 of the 37 points that were played.