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Rafael Nadal

Opener a farce to be reckoned with for Serena Williams

Opener a farce to be reckoned with for Serena Williams

They wanted to start the U.S. Open tennis tournament with a bang Monday night. Instead, they got the Clunker in Queens. Josh Groban sang. That was great. Billie Jean King warmed up the crowd. That was special, too. The music filled the warm and still night. Vanessa Williams was the ideal star to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Everything was perfect. Serena Williams would open the competition with her first match win of the hoped-for seven that would take her, for certain, to the sport's top echelon of history-makers. But then they started playing. Nobody expected Williams' first-round opponent to be exceptionally good, but the assumption of at least some...

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