In her first professional match of the season, word No. 1 Serena Williams cruised into the second round of the Australian Open with relative ease. After worrying fans with her bizarre performances at the Hopman Cup, Williams was able to rebound and advance to the next stage of the tournament, where she will come up against Russia’s Vera Zvonareva, a player she has contested frequent matches with for over a decade – including the final of the Wimbledon Championships in 2010. Williams leads the head-to-head series 7-3.
The top seed cruised to the second round of the Australian Open with minimal resistance from Alison Van Uytvanck. Williams, who won the match 6-0, 6-4, struck 11 aces, won 86% of her first service points and hit 21 winners to close out the match in 61 minutes of court time.
“I felt okay,” Williams explained after the match. “As always, I had the jitters going out in the first match of a Grand Slam. So, yeah, it’s never super easy to be the one that everyone wants to beat. So I always have to be a little bit above. But, yeah, I felt okay. I definitely think I can improve a tremendous amount.
The American will now come up against Vera Zvonareva, who defeated Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur 6-2, 6-3 to arrive at the intriguing encounter. She hit 3 aces, won 81% of her first service points and 6 winners to finish the match in 1 hour and 3 minutes.
This will mark the 11th time that Williams and Zvonareva cross paths on the professional tour, with Williams leading the series 7-3. The American has won four of their five most recent matches dating back to the 2007 US Open, and will likely add to that record with another win in their fourth Grand Slam encounter.
Prediction: Serena Williams in Straight Sets