Serena Williams hasn’t played much tennis this year, thanks to her numerous injuries and health concerns — which have ran the gamut from foot surgery to a hematoma and a pulmonary embolism and as a result she’s seeded 28th in U.S. Open play, but our girl is already dispatching the competition in two sets.
Williams dominated Bojana Jovanovski 6-1, 6-1 in their first-round match at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Williams may be seeded just 28th because of her injury-plagued season, but with three-time champion Kim Clijsters out and a recent beating of Maria Sharapova in her back pocket, few would doubt Williams’ status as favorite.
“I’m just Serena,” Williams said with a shrug.
That was more than enough to beat Jovanovski, as Williams made short work of her go-for-broke foe. The 19-year-old Serb was no match for Williams, who was both serious and stoic in her first match here since her infamous 2009 meltdown vs. Clijsters.
“Last time I played here, I went out with a bang. I came in with as bang [last night], so it’s all good,” Williams said. “It was two years ago, and last year I didn’t play. I’m telling you, out of sight, out of mind for me. You guys should try it sometime.”
Though Williams’ father Richard seemed to be managing expectations — telling The Post he doesn’t care if she wins or loses the title, that he’s just “happy to have her alive” — she appears set to make a run for the title.
Williams had just 10 unforced errors and 22 winners and needed less than an hour to dispatch her overmatched foe. She covered the whole court and didn’t break a sweat, sealing it with a net winner and walking off with hardly a smile, cruising into a second-round matchup with Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands.
“I’m so happy to be here. I didn’t think I’d make it,” Williams said. “In February I wasn’t even thinking about playing tennis. Every match out here is such an honor, and I’m really enjoying it,” Williams said to the fans courtside. “I’m always nervous in the first round. I thought I played a little tight. [I'd give myself] maybe a B.”
Williams’ “B” game might be good enough. She has played just five events all year, but won two of them, including the Olympus U.S. Open Series events in Stanford and Toronto. It was in the Stanford tournament that she dominated Sharapova 6-1, 6-3. That result, along with French Open champion Li Na getting knocked out in the first round and the absence of Clijsters, stamps Williams as a favorite.
But Williams is trying to lower expectations.
“I’m just here to play. Everyone’s been playing all year: I haven’t,” Williams said. “I’ve played like five tournaments. I don’t think that’s usually a favorite in as Grand Slam.”
Gotta love “Just Serena” especially for telling the media “Out of sight, out of mind, you guys should try it sometime!” Congratulations… We hope she wins this one so the haters can stop bringing up old isht!