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Serena survives clay opener

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Originally published on: 03/04/13 00:00

The world No.1, fresh from a record sixth victory at the Sony Open in Miami, struggled on the surface at times against Italy’s Camila Giorgi.

Williams dropped her serve in her second game, but recovered to claim a 6-2 6-3 victory in South Carolina.

"It was definitely not great for me. I think I played well, but I wasn't great footing-wise. I was just trying to get my stability," Williams, who has now won 67 of her last 71 matches, said.

However, there were a handful of upsets as players struggled to adapt to the clay, and Sloane Stephens was one such victim, falling 6-2 6-0 to fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Carla Suarez Navarro and Mona Barthel were two further seeded players to suffer early exits, but Jelena Jankovic, Julia Goerges, Sabine Lisicki and Laura Robson all progressed to the second round.

Jankovic squeezed past Melanie Oudin 6-4 5-7 6-4, while Lisicki claimed the first double bagel of her career with a 6-0 6-0 win over Anna Tatishvili.

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