U.S. Open 2015: Serena Williams breezes to ‘bizarre’ first round win

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Defending champion Serena Williams took 30 minutes to win her opening match at U.S. Open

The world No.1 is chasing a rare "calendar slam" and 22nd grand slam win overall

CNN  — 

Serena Williams blasted through her first-round match at the U.S. Open – the final grand slam of 2015 – to edge to within just six wins of a rare calendar-year slam.

The American was roared on by a patriotic crowd in New York as she aims to become the first woman since Steffi Graff in 1988 to win the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open crowns in a single season.

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“It’s great to be here, to be American, to be on this journey in my life,” the 33-year-old superstar gushed to reporters.

“It’s kind of awesome that this is the last grand slam of the year. If it were in a different county I would still love it but it’s not the same as being an American playing in New York, playing for that ultimate goal.”

Williams warned the media not to jinx the “Serena Slam” before the French and Wimbledon championships but after completing that feat – to hold all four majors at once – she seems more relaxed on home soil.

The world No.1 overpowered Vitalia Diatchenko, winning eight straight games before her Russian opponent limped off in retirement with the score at 6-0 2-0.

“It was definitely different,” Williams said of her quick fire win at Arthur Ashe Stadium which took just 30 minutes. “And bizarre. I kept thinking, ‘just stay focused, don’t lose it’. You never know what can happen.”

Williams, a six-time U.S. Open champion, wants to call on her inner calm, rather than her fearsome fire power, to tick off six more match wins, all she now needs for a magnificent seventh title in New York.

“Sometimes if I’m down I need to have a little extra fight, a little more power and passion,” she explained.

“But there’s also a calm that I need to tap into to do the best that I can as well.”

Williams, who reportedly sold her Manhattan apartment last month for a handy profit, revealed that she is relaxing by watching a lot of TV – specifically the documentary series Investigation Discovery.

“I never leave my room too much,” she revealed. “I kind of become in there, in that space, and I just watch endless Netflix.”

A quietly focused Williams could be deadly for her opponents. The 21-time grand slam winner is on a 22-match winning streak in New York.

Her next opponent in the second-round Wednesday is Dutch world No.110 Kiki Bertens.

“She does a lot of things well,” commented Williams. “She has a big serve. It’s definitely something that I look forward too.”

Read: Maria Sharapova pulls out of U.S. Open

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