New York : A decade or so ago, Serena and Venus Williams ruled tennis together, swapping the No.1 ranking and meeting in Grand Slam finals.
Serena, the younger of the pair, still holds a spot at the top of the game.
Venus has not been there for quite some time. So there was a turn-back-the-clock feel to Day 1 at the 2013 US Open, when both sisters were about as good as can be, dropping a combined four games in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Venus, now ranked 60th, beat 12th-seeded Kirsten Flipkens 6-1, 6-2 on Monday afternoon, and then Serena reduced 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone to seeking comfort from a ball boy’s hug during a 6-0, 6-1 runaway under the lights at night.
Asked which meant more on this day, her own victory or her sister’s, Serena replied: “They’re equal. I definitely was happy to see Venus win. I really was happy for her.
“I know she’s been working hard. I know she had a tough opponent. For her to come through was just awesome. Obviously, I want to do well, too.”
Looking very much like the player she used to be, Venus smacked serves at up to 120 mph.
“If Venus is there if she’s fit, if she’s focused she’s a top-10 player,” Flipkens said. “Everybody who knows a little bit of the game of tennis can see that. Today, she was like a top-10 player.”