TSN TV Schedule TSN2 TV Schedule
Tennis

Williams opens season with straight sets win over Petkovic

{eot}
The Canadian Press
12/31/2013 1:59:28 AM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

BRISBANE, Australia -- Serena Williams did a quick little dance behind the baseline to remind herself to move her feet. After a complete air swing at the net in the second set, she smiled ruefully and drew in some long, deep breathes.

She netted a service return on her first match point.

Top-ranked Williams' first competitive match of the season, on New Year's Eve, was by no means perfect, but the 6-4, 6-4 win over Andrea Petkovic at the Brisbane International was a decent start against a player who has been ranked as high as No. 9.

She made 36 unforced errors, including the big miss on Petkovic's floater in the fifth game of the second set, but hit 35 winners and fired 11 aces including one at 196 kph (122 mph) to bring up set point in the first.

"It was an intense match, which was really good," Williams said. "She's been in the top 10 before and she was on her way to being even better. It was a good match for me."

Williams started 2013 in Brisbane with a title, the first of 11 for a year that included two major championships. She's back with the aim of carrying the momentum into 2014. And she's already into the quarterfinals where she'll meet ninth-seeded Dominika Cibulkova, who overcame 43-year-old Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.

Williams had a win-loss record of 78-4 last season and spent all but seven weeks atop the rankings, and she hasn't lowered her expectations for the year ahead.

"I had a similar question in 2012. I had such a good year winning two slams and a (Olympic) gold and two doubles. It was a lot," she said. "I just didn't think I could do better. Arguably I may have done better (in 2013), so I'm just going to be up for that challenge again."

In other second-round matches, fourth-seeded Jelena Jankovic beat Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-1, 6-3.

On the men's side, sixth-seeded Feliciano Lopez of Spain had a 6-4, 6-4 win over Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan, No. 8 Jeremy Chardy beat fellow Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (4) 7-5, Australia's Matthew Ebden beat American Alex Kuznetsov 6-3, 6-4 and Nicolas Mahut of France defeated Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

At the WTA event in Auckland, New Zealand, former No. 1-ranked Ana Ivanovic overcame a sore shoulder and saved four set points on serve on her way to a 7-5, 7-6 (2) win over American Alison Riske.

The second-seeded Ivanovic required treatment during the second set and played the latter stages with her right shoulder strapped.

At 3-5 and 0-40 down in the second, she faced the prospect of a difficult third set but strung together a series of powerful serves to save the game, then broke Riske to force a tiebreak.

"I was very happy to get through that second set after I was down," Ivanovic said. "There was a bit of wind and I had wind nerves, there were a few mis-hits and then this (shoulder injury) happened."

Third-seeded Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium advanced 6-4, 7-5 over Monica Puig of Puerto Rico, but fourth-seeded Sorana Cirstea of Romania and former champion Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium both lost to qualifiers.

Serena Williams (Photo: The Canadian Press)

zoom

(Photo: The Canadian Press)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story


© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television