Serena Williams, seeking her 24th career Grand Slam title to match Margaret Court’s all-time record, got a scare before ousting 17-year-old US wildcard Caty McNally 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.
McNally, who hadn’t been born when Williams won her first Slam at the 1999 US Open, threatened a struggling Williams from the start before the six-time US Open champion won nine of the last 11 games to escape under the roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“I survived tonight. I’m not too pleased with the way I played at all,” Williams said.
“‘Serena, you made way too many errors today. What were you thinking?’ But I’m alive. I’m happy. I’ll do better next time. I promise.”