Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Serena Williams Beats Carina Witthoeft to Set Up Match Against Sister Venus

Kyle Newport

Serena Williams' quest for a seventh U.S. Open title continues as she advances to the round of 32 in Flushing Meadows, New York.

The 17th-ranked Williams knocked off Carina Witthoeft in the second round on Wednesday, 6-2, 6-2. This comes after she made quick work of Magda Linette, 6-4, 6-0, on Monday.

This marked the first time Williams and Witthoeft have gone head-to-head on the court. And while the 23-year-old German did her best to put up a fight, she was no match for her 36-year-old opponent.

Williams managed to take the first set, 6-2, behind the strength of five aces. Also of note, she won 63 percent (10-of-16) of her first-serve points while keeping Witthoeft from taking any points on second serves in seven chances.

Witthoeft tested Williams early in the second set, splitting the first four games. But from there on out, it was all Williams. She won an impressive 89 percent (17-of-19) first-serve points in the second set while adding another eight aces and limiting herself to zero double-faults and six unforced errors.

The match took just one hour and seven minutes to play.

With the victory over Witthoeft, Serena has set up a third-round showdown with her sister Venus on Friday. According to the Associated Press' Brian Mahoney (h/t ABC News), it will be the earliest the sisters have met at a Grand Slam in 20 years.

Serena is 17-12 against her big sister, including 3-2 at the U.S. Open and 10-5 in Grand Slams. They last met at the tournament in 2015, a 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 victory for Serena. Venus would (jokingly) argue, though, that Serena had an unfair advantage last time they faced off in a Grand Slam, via ESPN's D'Arcy Maine:

Serena, of course, was about five weeks pregnant when the sisters met in the final of the 2017 Australian Open.

Venus has two career U.S. Open titles.

Serena has historically played well at the U.S. Open. She has made it to at least the semifinals every year since 2008 when she has participated in the tournament, missing out in 2010 and 2017. She now has a career record of 90-11 at the U.S. Open.

The 23-time Grand Slam champ is appearing in her third major since giving birth last September. She reached the fourth round of the French Open in June before having to withdraw because of injury, and she made it to the Wimbledon final last month before falling to Angelique Kerber.

   
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