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What injury? Serena fires into round two in Oz


 

Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:53

Serena Williams spent more energy in advancing to the second round of the Australian Open than her 6-2, 6-1 victory over Urszula Radwanska suggests, but the defending champion marches on in Melbourne.

Hoping to defend a title in Australia for the first time – she has won the final at Rod Laver Arena on every odd numbered year since 2003 – Williams was not quite her domineering best against the Polish teenager, but proved far too powerful for the world No.72.

Unlike her elder sister (who was a quarter finalist in Melbourne in 2008), Radwanska has won only two Grand Slam matches in her career, both at Wimbledon, and never looked likely to cause an upset against Williams.

The scoreline seemed to be easy, but there were tough points. So I was just happy to get it over with.” – Serena

Despite heavy strapping to her right leg – there to avoid a repeat of Saturday’s lackluster defeat to world No.5 Elena Dementieva in the final of Sydney’s Medibank International – Williams did not appear to suffer from restricted movement as she fired past the 19-year-old in 75 minutes.

The match proved less of a contest than the closely fought 6-4, 6-4 victory Williams achieved the last time the two met – on Radwanska’s Grand Slam debut, in the second round at the All England Club in 2008.

I was happy to get through, Williams said. The scoreline seemed to be easy, but there were tough points. So I was just happy to get it over with.

She plays really well. I think her game has definitely come on. I feel like she’s more consistent. You know, it’s a different score than Wimbledon, but still I think that she’s more consistent and a little better ? a lot better.

Despite the victory, Williams still appears someway short of her imperious best, and despite crunching 31 clean winners, the world No.1 tossed in 27 unforced errors.

Off court, Williams appeared unconcerned, and spent her post match interview smarting about her $92,000 fine for the infamous line-judge incident at the 2009 US Open.

Having decided to turn the negative incident into a fundraising positive with a mission to match the fine and donate the proceedings to charity, Williams even went as far as suggesting she was glad that her verbal meltdown occurred.

“The money is going to a great cause,” urged the 28-year-old. “I don’t think it would have happened if I hadn’t gotten fined.

Elsewhere in Melbourne, World No.13 Sam Stosur is through to the second round after coming back from a loss of concentration in the second set against Chinese teenager Xinyun Han.

First up on Rod Laver Arena, the Aussie recovered her composure with the help of the home crowd to triumph 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 against the world No.191.

Ana Ivanovic also progresses after knocking out American Shenay Perrey 6-2, 6-3. The 2008 finalist traded breaks with the big serving qualifier in the first set, but ultimately took a first set advantage before strolling through the second set in windy conditions on Margaret Court Arena.

“I was pleased with the way I played,” said the 20th seed. “The conditions were very tough. It was very cold and windy and a lot different than Brisbane or what I have been used to,

But I just tried to work my way through, just taking time, try to stay composed. I thought I played well and served good.

Ivanovic joins fellow former world No.1 Jelena Jankovic and Marion Bartoli in the second round after both achieved straight sets victories in Melbourne.

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