• Wimbledon

Williams begins defence with regulation victory

ESPN staff
June 25, 2013

Serena Williams came into this year's Wimbledon under a cloud of controversy. The American raised a few eyebrows with her opinions regarding a rape trial in her homeland before some ill-advised comments about rival Maria Sharapova.

Williams apologised and asked everyone to move on.

And that's exactly what she did in the opening round as she cruised past defenceless Mandy Minella 6-1 6-3 on a Centre Court bathed in glorious sunshine.

An ace in the very first point was the sign of things to come from Serena, who powered past her helpless opponent, the world No. 92, to take the opening set in just 20 minutes.

Minella grew into the game in the second set and took a 2-0 lead as Williams briefly let her guard down. It was, however, to be a momentary slip and a double fault from the Luxembourgian handed Williams a break back in the very next game.

From there on in, Williams was in cruise control as she set up a second round meeting with France's Caroline Garcia, who edged Jie Zheng 6-3 6-4.

Earlier in the day 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm - a semi-finalist at Wimbledon in 1996 - thrashed world No. 193 Carina Witthoeft, dropping just two games in a match with lasted less than 45 minutes.

Na Li, the sixth seed, dismissed Michaella Krajicek, while Samantha Stosur, who hasn't always enjoyed her outings at Wimbledon, got off to a confident start with a 6-1 6-3 victory over Slovakia's Anna Schmiedlova. The Aussie will face Olga Puchkova, who beat Arantxa Rus.

Germany's Mona Barthel was certainly made to work harder for her place in the second round. The No. 30 seed was taken the distance by Romania's Monica Niculescu before coming through 6-3 4-6 7-5.

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