On her first outing since that shock French Open exit to Garbiñe Muguruza, Williams impressed during a quick-fire win over Anna Tatishvili. To put into context the challenge that faced her next opponent, Scheepers, is the fact that in 14 previous visits Williams had never lost before the third round.
The Turning Point
Williams was in complete control throughout, a break to love in the second game of the match getting the ball rolling. Another break followed and It was not long before she was closing out the set with a confident smash.
The second set saw more of the same, the American taking advantage of some scarcely needed unforced errors to build a 4-0 lead. Scheepers eventually got on the board, but it was far too little, too late, Williams breaking once more to wrap up a 6-1, 6-1 victory.
"I'm always the favorite," Williams acknowledged afterwards. "It's been that way for the last three years and maybe years before that. So it can create pressure. But it's okay - I'd rather it was that way.
"I've been coming here for over decade and the crowd is always great and it's so great to see all my fans here. I love it!"
In the third round, Williams takes on the WTA 's marathon woman, Alizé Cornet, who won a typically hard-fought battle with Petra Cetkovska, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3. Cornet and Williams last met in Dubai, with the former producing one of the performances of her career to triumph in straight sets.