Photo by Robert Deutsch / USA Today Sports
Photo by Robert Deutsch / USA Today Sports

Olympia Ohanian turned three years old Tuesday. Her mother had to work, putting in an afternoon shift in Arthur Ashe Stadium. It got off to a patchy start, but by the time it was over, the world’s most decorated tennis mother celebrated Olympia just as she hoped she would, with a first-round triumph in the U.S. Open against fellow American Kristie Ahn.

Williams, the No. 3 seed and a 23-time Grand Slam champion, has been on a quest to win No. 24, which would tie her with Margaret Court, since before Olympia was born. She took the first step with a 7-5, 6-3 triumph over Ahn, 28, the world’s No. 96 player, who hung with Williams admirably at times in their first-ever meeting, even pushing her around somewhat and getting the best of a number of backcourt rallies.

But then the 38-year-old Williams elevated her play, producing the result that you would expect between a player with 352 Grand Slam victories and an opponent with three.

“I  was really happy with how I fought for every point, no matter how I was playing,” Williams said in the on-court interview.

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