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Serena starts French Open defence with two-set victory

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The Sports Network
5/25/2014 3:02:10 PM
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Paris, France (SportsNetwork.com) - Serena Williams highlighted Sunday's winners in the first round of the French Open.

The world No. 1 Williams began her title defense at Roland Garros with a 6-2, 6-1 win over French wild card Alize Lim on Court Chatrier.

Williams was erratic at times, piling up 36 unforced errors, but the 17-time Grand Slam singles champion saved all seven break points she faced and fired 37 winners to just seven for Lim, who was making her debut in the main draw of a major.

"I was a little nervous, as I always am in my first rounds. It's kind of always hard for me to shake those nerves," Williams said.

The American beat Maria Sharapova last year to capture her second career French Open crown. She also won this clay-court tournament in 2002, beating older sister Venus in the final.

Another former champion, Italian Francesca Schiavone, was ousted on Day 1, losing 6-3, 6-3 to Croatia's Ajla Tomljanovic. Schiavone won the French Open title in 2010 and was the runner-up to Li Na the next year.

Third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland advanced, defeating China's Shuai Zhang 6-3, 6-0 on the red clay at Stade Roland Garros. Radwanska's best result at the French Open was a spot in the quarterfinals last year.

Venus, an owner of seven Grand Slam singles titles, moved into the second round after posting a 6-4, 6-1 win over 17-year-old Swiss Belinda Bencic. The 29th-seeded Venus played her 58th career match at Roland Garros, the most among active players.

Other seeded winners included No. 8 Angelique Kerber of Germany, No. 14 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain and No. 31 Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia. Romanian Monica Niculescu rallied to beat 25th-seeded Estonian Kaia Kanepi 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.

American Varvara Lepchenko, Austrian Yvonne Meusburger, French wild card Claire Feuerstein, Slovakian Anna Schmiedlova, Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, Swede Johanna Larsson and Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova also moved into the second round.

Serena Williams (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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