Serena Williams moved a step closer to defending her U.S. Open title, although she had to produce her best tennis to see off Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez
Maria Sharapova crashed out of the U.S.
World number one Dinara Safina and most of the top women’s seeds at the U.S. Open coasted through to the second round, but Ana Ivanovic was knocked out by Ukraine’s Kateryna Bondarenko in a playoff thriller that was decided by the last point. Safina, who crashed out of the second round of the Rogers Cup in Canada in late August, survived a scare from Australian teen Olivia Rogowska, winning 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 6-4.
Defending champion Venus Williams avenged a blot on her 2009 season to set up a last-16 clash with Ana Ivanovic at Wimbledon, but their fellow former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic and French Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova crashed out of the tournament on Saturday. Williams crushed Carla Suarez Navarro 6-0 6-4 to obliterate memories of her upset defeat by the 34th-ranked Spaniard in the second round of the Australian Open in January.