Photo: Eisele/Giubilo/ZimmerSerena Williams (USA)
Reigning Wimbledon champion Serena Williams continued where she left a few weeks ago at The All England Club by hammering Jelena Jankovic 63 61 in the first round of the Olympic Tennis Event.
Jankovic, a former world No. 1, was competitive in the opening set, restricting Williams to one break point which the American converted, but she couldn’t get to grips with her opponent’s impressive serve and ultimately that was her undoing.
Williams, seeded No. 4, notched eight aces and no double faults on her way to victory, and her impressive serving statistics also saw her win 76% of first serve points and 78% of second serve points. In fact, Jankovic didn’t even manage to get herself a single break point in the entire match.
After edging the first set, Williams picked up three breaks in the second to romp to victory after just 61 minutes in front of an excited Centre Court crowd that included First Lady Michelle Obama. Her reward is a second round meeting against Poland’s Urszula Radwanska, who defeated Germany’s Mona Barthel 64 63.
"I was a little nervous in the first set, but I think once I got relaxed, I played a little better," said Williams. "I actually think I played solid. I felt the ball well. I missed a few shots, but at least I was going forward."
Williams made her Olympic debut at Sydney 2000 where she won the doubles gold medal with elder sister Venus. After missing Athens 2004, she returned at Beijing 2008 to repeat the gold medal feat in the doubles.
This time around the world No. 4 will be hoping to make it a hat-trick of doubles wins with Venus, but she will also be confident of tasting success on the singles court too. Earlier this month, Williams picked up her fifth Wimbledon title on the very same grass courts, putting her in pole position for a gold medal at the Olympics.
Urszula Radwanska is the younger sibling of Agnieszka Radwanksa, and no doubt she will be asking her big sister for advice after Agnieszka’s three-set loss to Williams in this year’s Wimbledon final. Serena and Urszula have met twice before and Williams is yet to be beaten, including a straight sets win at Wimbledon in 2008.
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