Kirsten Flipkens

Serena's US Open begins with tough matchup vs Makarova

Serena Williams hadn't played much coming into the Grand Slam tournament. An injury hampered her preparation, and she served miserably in the match.

That was the story in the fourth round of the 2012 Australian Open, when a young Russian lefty named Ekaterina Makarova stunned Williams in straight sets. The victory fueled Makarova's surge up the rankings, and by the 2014 U.S. Open, she was in the top 20 and facing the American in the semifinals.

That day is a much more pleasant memory for Williams — a 6-1, 6-3 win that was part of a dominant run to the title. It's the kind of form she's hoping to regain as she begins her bid for a record 23rd major title.

But...

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