LONDON: Serena Williams dusted off a few cobwebs to power into the second round at Wimbledon on Monday, surviving an early wobble against Russian qualifier Margarita Gasparyan to win 6-4 6-1.
The world number one made an inauspicious start to her bid for a sixth Wimbledon title and a second non-calendar year grand slam when the lowly-ranked Russian broke in the opening game and held on bravely as Williams slowly warmed up.
The frustration was clearly telling on the American as she trailed by a break and 3-2 in the opening set, an audible obscenity earning her a warning from the umpire.
She received little respite from Gasparyan, whose rasping groundstrokes frequently found their target, but Williams discovered her rhythm, broke to level for 3-3 and did not look back.
The 33-year-old broke again when Gasparyan netted a backhand to clinch the first set after 48 minutes and powered away, breaking twice in the second set and crunching away a smash on match point to clinch victory.