NEW YORK (AP) — Misty-eyed about the retirements of her fellow tennis stars, Serena Williams finds even more resolve to keep playing long past age 30.
She still has the fire, no doubt, frustrated Thursday by some sloppy play in what nonetheless was a straight-set win in the second round of the U.S. Open.
The 14-time Grand Slam champion beat old nemesis Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 6-2, 6-4. Down a break early in the second set, Williams rallied for the comfortable victory.
On Wednesday, Kim Clijsters played her final singles match when she lost at the Open. A day later, while Williams was on court, fellow American Andy Roddick said he would call it a career after his run here ended.
Williams turns 31 on Sept. 26, though she certainly isn't fielding the sort of retirement questions Roddick frequently faced after her titles at Wimbledon and the Olympics this summer.
"It makes me want to stay more," Williams said. "Losing Kim was so hard. I saw her yesterday. I just hugged her. My eyes got watery. ... I didn't expect that reaction."
On Thursday, the fourth-seeded Williams overcame six double-faults and 24 unforced errors — she had 32 winners to five for Martinez Sanchez.