sport

Strong start for Serena

Serena Williams began her quest for a third straight US Open title with a convincing win over American teenager Taylor Townsend.

Williams described 18-year-old Townsend as the future of tennis ahead of the meeting but showed she is still very much the present in a 6-3 6-1 victory.

Left-handed Townsend loves to attack the net but the power of Williams kept her pinned back for the most part, with only the occasional glimpse of her precocious ball striking.

World number one Williams has a huge amount riding on this tournament given her poor record in grand slams this season but she was calm and composed and played at a high level throughout.

Her serve in particular gave Townsend, who reached the third round of the French Open, all sorts of problems.

Williams dropped just five points on serve in the whole match and eased to victory after 55 minutes.

The 32-year-old, who has never won three consecutive titles at any grand slam, said: "I just come out and play. This was the first slam I won and I love to come back. I never want to stop.

"Taylor's incredibly talented. She's such a great person, I love her and I love that there's so many great Americans. We have such a great future and we have so much to look forward to."

Williams next meets another American, 25-year-old Vania King.