Serena Williams made a dominant return to the U.S. Open on Monday night. She defeated Poland’s Magda Linette, 6-4, 6-0, in her first round match to reach the second round of the tournament.
The victory marked Williams’s first U.S. Open appearance since 2016. She missed last year’s tournament because of her pregnancy; she gave birth to her daughter, Alexis.
Williams remains on track to meet with her sister, Venus, in the third round of this year’s tournament. Venus defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-3, 7-5, 6-3, earlier in the day.
While a bout with her sister remains a possibility, Serena’s path to winning a seventh U.S. Open did get a bit easier Monday. No. 1 seed Simona Halep bowed out of the tournament after losing to Kaia Kanepi, marking the first time a top-seeded woman lost in the first round of the tournament.
Next, Serena will face Germany’s Carina Witthöft, on Wednesday, Aug. 29. It will mark the first-ever meeting between the two players.