"I usually gauge the wind by my hair," Williams said. "If it's really going forward, I'm thinking, `It's really windy."'
That it was. It just didn't bother Williams too much in a 6-1, 6-1 victory over 75th-ranked CoCo Vandeweghe of the U.S. in the first round at Flushing Meadows.
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Williams needed less than an hour to move into the second round of a tournament she won in 1999, 2002 and 2008.
Coming off titles at Wimbledon and the London Olympics, Williams looked sharp against Vandeweghe, committing only nine unforced errors despite the tricky conditions.
"I didn't hit anything too hard, because the ball - I wouldn't have known where it was going to go," Williams said.
In search of her 15th Grand Slam title, Williams improved to 48-1 in first-round matches at major tournaments. The only loss was at this year's French Open.
During her on-court interview after Tuesday's match, she gave a shout-out to another Olympic gold medalist, New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, who was in the stands cheering for Williams.
Vandeweghe, who fell 7-5, 6-3 to Williams in the Bank of the West Classic final earlier this summer, had trouble dealing with her toss in the blustery wind. She finished with six double-faults and only held serve once in seven tries.