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Last Updated: Monday, 15 January 2007, 10:06 GMT
Resurgent Serena into next round
Serena Williams
Williams showed glimpses of her best after four months out injured
Two-time champion Serena Williams booked her place in the Australian Open second round with a 6-2 6-1 victory over Italian 27th seed Mara Santangelo.

After a slow start, the world number 81 used her powerful forehands to force Santangelo into a series of errors, breaking twice to take the opener.

Williams, returning from an injury lay-off, faced little resistance and broke twice more to wrap up the match.

The unseeded American will continue her comeback against qualifier Anne Kremer.

"I'm feeling pretty good and I'm excited," Williams said after her win at Melbourne Park.

"I came out to finally do what I'm supposed to do. Last year was a tough year but I have nothing to lose and there's only one way I can move, and that's up."

Williams looked far from her assured self in the opening exchanges of the match and was forced to save a break point in the third game as Santangelo patiently tried to wear her down.

Unluckily for the 27th seed, the American's rustiness did not last long and when Santangelo lost her focus, Williams seized advantage to easily break at 4-2.

606 DEBATE: How far can Serena go in Melbourne?

Another break followed as the American found her range with her fierce forehands and sliced backhands to wrap up the opener in 33 minutes.

Williams notched up her seventh straight game as she raced to 3-0 in the second and another break followed before she sealed the win with a 10th ace.

Coming into the tournament, Williams' levels of fitness and desire to return to the sport after an injury-hit 2006 had been called into question.

On Rod Laver Arena, Williams chased down the ball well, gave herself on-court pep-talks and delivered her trademark powerful strokes to show she still has all the assets to be a real contender for a third title in Melbourne.



SEE ALSO
Gamewatch - Serena v Santangelo
15 Jan 07 |  Tennis
Mauresmo v Perry gamewatch
14 Jan 07 |  Tennis
Men's Australian Open draw
13 Jan 07 |  Tennis
Women's Australian Open draw
13 Jan 07 |  Tennis


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