Serena battles through second-round test at US Open

MATTHEW STOCKMAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

Serena Williams battled her way through to a 6-2 6-4 victory over Russia's Margarita Gasparyan in the second round of the US Open on Thursday.

A dominant Williams sailed through the first set at Arthur Ashe Stadium, closing out the first game with one of seven aces in the match before breaking her unseeded opponent's serve on the second game to take an early 2-0 lead.

Williams, who continues her bid for a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam title, now faces 2017 champion Sloane Stephens.

Meanwhile, Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime proved too strong for former champion Andy Murray, cutting short the Briton's Grand Slam comeback with a breezy 6-2 6-3 6-4 victory in the second round.

Before the start of the match, the 20-year-old Auger-Aliassime had said he would look to be aggressive against his three-time Grand Slam winning opponent.

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