The quest for a 24th Grand Slam title by Serena Williams began on a fast note on Monday as she rushed through her first round match against Laura Siegemund in less than an hour, making a statement that she is in excellent form for this assault.
The 39-year-old won 6-1, 6-1. This was despite losing her serve in the opening game of the first set to the 49th-ranked Siegemund.
She also looked fashionable in a brightly coloured one-piece, with one leg stripped off.
Serena served four aces and won 54 points to Siegemund’s 23. She also hit 16 winners and made 15 unforced errors, though she needs to improve on her first serves as she had only 59% throughout the encounter.
In other matches, Serena’s elder sister, Venus, 40, beat the lower-ranked Kirsten Flipkens 7-5, 6-2 in a little over 90 minutes. World’s No.2 ranked Simona Halep made short work of Lizette Cabrera 6-2, 6-1 in 59 minutes.
Naomi Osaka, No.3 ranked, also got a good start with a dominant 6-1, 6-2 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, in a little over an hour.
In the Men’s draw, world No.3, Dominic Thiem needed a tie-break in the first set but had a comfortable 7-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Mikhail Kukushkin in two hours and forty minutes as he bids to do better than last year’s final loss to Novak Djokovic.
Alexander Zverev, ranked No.6, had to fight off the challenge of 75th-ranked Marcos Giron to make the second round. Giron won the first set 7-6 and Zverev took the second 7-6 and followed with 6-3, 6-2 victories in the third and fourth sets.
The biggest casualty on the first day was Frenchman, Gael Monfils, ranked No.11 in the world, who lost to the 86th-ranked Emil Ruusuvuori in five sets-6-3, 4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 3-6, in three hours and 46 minutes.
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