Serena lacks polish but beats Silva
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:35
The second seed breezed through the opening set but found Silva a much tougher proposition in the second before eventually breaking in the 12th game for a 6-1 7-5 victory.
Playing her first match in the main draw of a grand slam Silva made the two-time Wimbledon winner, who lost to sister Venus in the final last year, to fight for her victory with a battling display.
Silva, the first Portuguese player to appear in a match on Centre Court, fought hard in her opening service game before eventually conceding a break.
And the 26-year-old frequently found herself scurrying from corner to corner as the extra power of Williams helped her win four games in a row.
Silva finally got herself on the scoreboard – earning a huge cheer – in the fifth game, but it was only a brief respite as the two-time champion wrapped up the set in 27 minutes.
Silva had shown plenty of determination in the first set for little reward but she held her opening service game in the second and began to match Williams, with her backhand slice proving particularly effective.
Williams upped the pace in a titanic eighth game, one cross-court forehand leaving her opponent motionless at the net, but three break points went begging as Silva held firm to make it 4-4.
The world number 154 went one better in the 10th game as she saved a match point before levelling matters again with a brilliant lunging volley.
She could not repeat the trick two games later, though, as Williams took advantage of her second match point to set up a second-round meeting with Australian Jarmila Groth.