Serena Williams had a flimsy beginning at the Australian Open — for one game.
After momentarily falling behind, Williams cleared 10 successive games and beat Laura Siegemund 6-1, 6-1 on the main day of the competition Monday.
The triumph denoted the beginning of Williams’ most recent offer for a record-tying 24th significant title, and as she left the court, she flexed her biceps.
“This was a decent beginning — vintage ‘Rena,” she said. “It’s unquestionably acceptable. I’m very acceptable at finding a steady speed at a Grand Slam.”
Williams wore a bright one-legged catsuit, and her game looked conspicuous, as well. She lost just nine focuses on her serve and hit 16 champs.
Her sister, Venus, won a Grand Slam coordinate unexpectedly in 2019. Playing in her 21st Australian Open, the senior Williams beat Kirsten Flipkens 7-5, 6-2.
At 40, Venus is the most seasoned lady in the current year’s draw and simply the 6th part in her 40s to contend at the Australian Open.
Three-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka, who won the title in Melbourne two years back, played the initial match in Rod Laver Arena and beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 6-2.
The primary competition of the current year’s Grand Slam season started following a three-week delay as a result of the Covid pandemic.
“Genuinely I feel like everybody, their bodies are stunned, coming in and playing so out of nowhere after a particularly long break,” Osaka said. “I believe we’re all becoming accustomed to it and everybody is only glad to be here.”
That incorporates the Williams sisters.
“Tune in, this is stunning,” Serena said. “A year ago was terrifying for the world. To have the option to do what I cherish and have the option to come out and contend . . . it causes me to value the second significantly more.”
Canadian Rebecca Marino, a previous top-40 player contending in a Grand Slam occasion without precedent for a very long time, beat trump card passage Kimberly Birrell 6-0, 7-6 (9). Marino was sidelined by wretchedness and a genuine foot injury.
In early men’s play, No. 14-cultivated Milos Raonic crushed Federico Coria 6-3, 6-3, 6-2. American Reilly Opelka hit 18 experts and beat Lu Yen-hsun 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-3.
Serena Williams overwhelmed Siegemund, moved well and saved perhaps the absolute best for the last game, dashing forward to flip a wobbly strike off her shoestrings for a cross-court champ.
For as long as four years, Williams has been attempting to rise to Australian Margaret Court’s record of 24 significant titles. Williams’ latest Grand Slam title came at Melbourne in 2017.
Osaka drew a potential intense opening rival in Pavlyuchenkova, a Russian positioned 39th who arrived at the quarterfinals in Melbourne three of the previous four years.
However, Osaka floated through the first set in quite a while and scarcely eased back after that. She got done with a larger number of champs than mistakes and lost just five focuses on her first serve.
Up to 30,000 fans — about half of limit — will be permitted on the competition site, however situates were generally unfilled for the early matches on a cool day.
“I’m very glad to see individuals in the stands,” Osaka said.