‘I’m alive. I’m still here,’ says Serena Williams after being tested by 17-year-old

Serena Williams in a twist

Serena Williams was made to work for her win at the US Open as 17-year-old Caty McNally took her to three sets in the second round.

After breezing past Maria Sharapova in the opening round, the 23-time Grand Slam winner dropped the opening set against her fellow American.

The eighth seed, though, eventually upped her game in the second set and then ran away with things as she won 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 in just under two hours.

McNally broke in game 11 of the opening set and then served it out, but Williams hit back with a break in game six of the second before levelling it up at one set each.

The veteran, who finished the match with 31 winners to 28 unforced errors, then dominated the decider as she dropped only five points.

“I survived tonight,” Williams said. “I am not too pleased with the way I played at all.

“But it’s OK, I’m alive, I’m still here and happy to be on this court. I’ll do better. I promise.”

As for teenager McNally, the 38-year-old had nothing but praise.

“She really came out and played really well, she showed no fear. She had absolutely nothing to lose and she played like it.”

Second seed Ashleigh Barty also reached the third round as the French Open champion held off American Lauren Davis 6-2, 7-6 (7-2).

“There were parts of my game that I still want to clean up,” Barty said. “I had to hit a lot of balls tonight, it was extremely tough.”

Meanwhile, third seed Karolina Pliskova beat Mariam Bolkvadze 6-1, 6-4 and fifth seed Elina Svitolina secured a 6-4, 6-4 win over former world No 1 Venus Williams.

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