Serena Dominates In Return To America
Published July 26, 2011 12:00
STANFORD, CA, USA - Serena Williams put on an incredible display of power tennis in Stanford on Tuesday night, winning her first match of the Bank of the West Classic with the most dominant scoreline possible - 60 60.
Playing just her third tournament back after missing almost a full year due to well-documented struggles with injury and illness, Williams needed just 47 minutes to completely shell shock Anastasia Rodionova, losing just five points in six service games and not letting Rodionova convert on any of her five game points in the match. Williams was 17 for 17 on first serve points, too.
"I wanted to be more consistent, and I think I did that tonight," Williams said in her press conference. "I feel good. I don't think of the match as being easy - I think it was just me being focused. I was out there just trying to do my best."
In her first two tournaments back, Williams reached the second round of Eastbourne and the fourth round of Wimbledon. "I didn't deserve a break after Wimbledon. I didn't practice on the plane ride back - that was about it," the 13-time Grand Slam champion added. "I want to get back to the top and win. I have no patience. No.1's great, but I really want to do well in the Grand Slams."
"But I've only played about seven matches since coming back - it's still early on and I'm taking it one day at a time, one match at a time."
In her first match on American soil since the 2009 US Open, Williams got her fourth career double bagel victory, her first three coming against Larisa Savchenko (first round of 1998 Los Angeles), Barbara Schett (third round of 2003 French Open) and Zuzana Ondraskova (first round of 2007 Stuttgart).
The only two seeded players in action both got sent to the sidelines, as No.6 seed Julia Goerges was broken six times in nine service games during a 62 63 loss to Maria Kirilenko, and No.7 seed Ana Ivanovic lost the last 12 points against Ayumi Morita to fall to the Japanese No.1 in straight sets, 63 75.
"Julia made a lot of mistakes today," said Kirilenko, who had gone 0-13 against Top 20 players since beating Shahar Peer at this very tournament last year. "I love this tournament. I've come here five years in a row now, and they always have good hospitality, a good stadium and a lot of fans coming out to watch."
"I was not at the level I expected, but there are some positives," Ivanovic said. "I started with a new team a week ago and it takes time for things to come into place. It's normal. It's disappointing I lost and couldn't get further into the tournament but after a few more weeks of practice I'll be more confident."
Next up for Kirilenko is Williams. "I just played her at Wimbledon," the Russian added. "She's always tough for me. But I'm just going to try my best and hopefully do well. I hope we can show some good tennis."
Other winners on Day 2 of play were Daniela Hantuchova, Sabine Lisicki and qualifiers Marina Erakovic and Urszula Radwanska. Hantuchova and Lisicki seem to be approaching the Top 20 fast - Hantuchova has now won 16 of her last 21 matches, while Lisicki has now won 12 of her last 13 matches.