Bethanie Mattek Sands

Bethanie Mattek Sands

The enormity of what is at stake for Serena Williams at the U.S. Open — the first true Grand Slam in tennis since 1988 — hit her Wednesday.

That, she said, is why her play was so uneven in the second round, despite facing a qualifier ranked only 110th. And it’s why, after the 10 double-faults, two dozen unforced errors and a sloppy first set, Williams listened to pointers from coach Patrick Mouratoglou and headed straight to a practice court to put in work, hoping to repair what plagued her in a 7-6 (5), 6-3 win over the Netherlands’ Kiki Bertens.

“I have nothing to lose… I know how Serena’s going to come. She plays aggresive,” Mattek-Sands said after the match. “I mean, she plays big. I’m just going to go out with my game plan. That’s really all I’m kind of thinking about now.”

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