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Williams eases through

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:18

Williams, playing her first match since demolishing Dinara Safina in the final of the Australian Open, lived up to her billing with a 6-1 6-4 win over Czech Iveta Benesova.

The top seed will face qualifier Karolina Sprem, who famously beat Serena’s sister Venus at Wimbledon in 2004, in the second round.

Second seed Jelena Jankovic, who Williams replaced as number one last week, had more of a struggle against Italy’s Francesca Schiavone.

Serbian Jankovic needed a late break to clinch the first set and then hit back from a break down in the second for a 7-5 7-6 (7/2) victory.

China’s Na Li awaits Jankovic in the second round while third seed Elena Dementieva will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova after defeating Aravane Rezai 6-4 6-3.

Former world number one Amelie Mauresmo delighted the home crowd with a crushing win against Sara Errani, the Frenchwoman triumphing 6-2 6-0.

Eighth seed Mauresmo, whose last title came in Antwerp in 2007, is a two-time champion in Paris and has reached the final on another three occasions.

Patty Schnyder, seeded sixth, also progressed to the second round with a 6-4 7-6 (7/3) victory over Alona Bondarenko.

Home hope Emilie Loit became the first player to reach the quarter-finals, the qualifier recording a 2-6 6-3 6-1 victory over Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi.

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