NEW YORK — One down, six to go.
Serena Williams needed only half an hour Monday night to take the first step toward winning the Grand Slam when Russian Vitalia Diatchenko retired down 6-2, 2-0, in front of a packed crowd inside Arthur Ashe Stadium at the U.S. Open.
Diatchenko was bothered by an foot injury and seemed overwhelmed from the start. She trailed 5-0 after 12 minutes and after calling for the trainer a second time, she threw in the towel and shook Serena’s hand.
Total points won: Serena 32, Diatchenko 5.
“I told her I was proud of her for even coming out and making this effort for being injured even before she got out here,” Serena said on court. “It was a great effort and hopefully we’ll be able to play again soon.”