Serena again gets prime-time slot; Swiatek rolls

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NEW YORK — Serena Williams will be back under the US Open lights in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Wednesday.

Williams will play the leadoff match of the night session in the main stadium, the U.S. Tennis Association announced Tuesday.

She will face No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia. They will be followed by defending men’s champion Daniil Medvedev against Arthur Rinderknech of France.

Williams beat Danka Kovinic on Monday night to begin what could be the final tournament of her career. That helped draw the largest crowd ever for a US Open night session, which had more than 29,000 fans.

The top seed in the women’s draw, Iga Swiatek, powered into the second round of the US Open on Tuesday with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Jasmine Paolini 6-3, 6-0.

Swiatek is trying to become the first player since Williams in 2014 to win seven titles in a year. She is is just 5-4 since her 37-match winning streak ended earlier this year, but the two-time French Open champion got sharper as the match went on Tuesday while supported by a number of Polish fans wearing red inside Louis Armstrong Stadium.

No. 8-seeded American Jessica Pegula also raced through her opening match like Swiatek, needing just more than an hour before beating Viktorija Golubic 6-2, 6-2.

Also advancing in straight sets were No. 6 seed Aryna Sabalenka, No. 9 Garbine Muguruza and No. 21 Petra Kvitova. Karolina Pliskova, seeded 22nd, outlasted Magda Linette in a third-set tiebreak, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (10-8).

Jelena Ostapenko, meanwhile, was ousted, as the No. 16 seed fell to Qinwen Zheng 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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