NEW YORK -- Serena Williams began her bid for a third consecutive U.S. Open title with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over American teen Taylor Townsend on Tuesday night.
The No. 1-ranked and No. 1-seeded Williams made only eight unforced errors and needed less than an hour to get past Townsend, an 18-year-old who is ranked 103rd and was given a wild card into the draw.
Williams is trying to become the first woman to win the U.S. Open three years in a row since Chris Evert took four straight trophies from 1975-78.
Williams has won the tournament five times overall, part of her collection of 17 Grand Slam singles titles. She has struggled in majors this season, though, failing to get past the fourth round at the Australian Open, French Open or Wimbledon.