Serena Williams equalled the most one-sided scoreline of her 30 meetings against sister Venus in the third round of the US Open.
Just before the match Serena shared a video on Instagram of the same moment exactly a year ago when she was in labour preparing to give birth to daughter Olympia.
There will be further tests to come which will show whether she is totally back to her best but there was little to fault here as she raced to a 6-1 6-2 victory in just an hour and 11 minutes.
The sisters shared an embrace at the net before a muted wave to the crowd from Serena, who will next face Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi.
“It’s not easy,” said the 36-year-old. “She’s my best friend, she means the world to me and she’s so supportive of my career and I’m extremely supportive of her career.
“Every time she loses I feel like I lose. It’s not very easy but we all know there’s more to life than just playing each other and playing tennis. I love her with all my heart and she’s the only reason I’m still out here. I owe everything to her.”
Serena rated this the best performance since her return from maternity leave, saying: “Obviously I played much better today than I have since I’ve come back to playing tennis. But I’ve worked for it. Hopefully it will keep paying off.”
The score matched Serena’s victory in Charleston five years ago while the loser had always won at least six games in their 15 previous slam meetings. Serena now leads the overall head-to-head 18-12 and has won nine of their last 11 clashes.
Although they have got used to competing against each other, neither sister enjoys the occasion. And when the clash comes so early in the tournament – this was their earliest meeting at a slam for 20 years – the stakes somehow seem higher.
It is decade since Venus last beat Serena at a grand slam, in the final of Wimbledon, but she had won their last match in Indian Wells in March in Serena’s first tournament following the birth of Olympia.
This showed how much she has improved since then as she ruthlessly powered her way to victory.
The only real moment of alarm came in the second game when she rolled her right ankle. She took a medical time-out at the change of ends to have further strapping applied to the joint, which was already heavily taped, but that seemed to be more precautionary than anything.
It certainly did not affect her tennis, with Serena reeling off seven games in a row. The crowd urged Venus to make a match of it, and she dug in the best she could but she was helpless in the face of her sister’s onslaught, with Serena hitting 10 aces in a tally of 34 winners.