^

Sports

Serena in dazzling start, trips Italian

Associated Press

MELBOURNE – Serena Williams made a bright start to her Australian Open title defense, holding up one finger and twirling in her neon yellow two-piece outfit to mark victory No. 1 after advancing, 6-4, 7-5, over Camila Giorgi on Monday.

Williams withdrew from a warmup tournament because of inflammation in her left knee, so the win over Giorgi was her first completed match since her bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam ended in a semifinal loss at the US Open.

The 21-time major winner was troubled initially by the bright sun while serving from one end of Rod Laver Arena, but didn’t show too many signs otherwise of discomfort as she beat the No. 34-ranked Giorgi in a challenging opener.

She dropped one service game in the match, while Giorgi struggled with 12 double-faults, including one on the decisive breakpoint in the 11th game of the second set.

Williams fired two aces and a service winner to finish it off.

“It wasn’t very easy – she obviously plays really well ... (and) I haven’t played a competitive match in a really long time, but I think it was really good for me to come out here,” Williams said. “I was able to stay in it and stay calm today and I think that’s what matters most.”

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova earned the distinction of winning the first completed match at the tournament when she beat Thai qualifier Luksika Kumkhum earlier on Rod Laver Arena, avenging her upset three-set loss in the first round here in 2014.

Kvitova, who had to withdraw from a warmup tournament in China because of a stomach virus, said her preparation was disrupted and she was nervous ahead of the rematch with Kumkhum.

“Now I can breathe a little bit normally,” she said. “I got really nervous before the match. I didn’t sleep well actually. The memories from two years ago were a little bit difficult.”

vuukle comment

ACIRC

AUSTRALIAN OPEN

CAMILA GIORGI

GIORGI

GRAND SLAM

KUMKHUM

LUKSIKA KUMKHUM

NOW I

PETRA KVITOVA

ROD LAVER ARENA

SERENA WILLIAMS

Philstar
x
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Recommended
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with