Wimbledon: Defending champion Serena Williams dispatches Mandy Minella in straight sets
By Sam Drury. Last Updated: 25/06/13 7:58pm
Serena Williams: Is eyeing up a 17th Grand Slam title and her sixth at the All England Club
Defending champion Serena Williams cruised into round two at Wimbledon with a straight-sets win over Mandy Minella on Centre Court.
Williams took just 57 minutes to see off the world No 92 from Luxembourg and clinch a 6-1 6-3 victory.
The top seed looked in ominous form throughout and didn't drop a single point on her serve in the first set.
Minella, 27, struggled to lay a racket on a typically powerful Williams serve as the five-time Wimbledon champion wrapped up the opening set in just 19 minutes.
The second was more of a contest and Minella got an early break to take a 2-0 lead. It didn't last long, however, as the American broke straight back to level matters before securing a break of her own to gain a 4-2 second set advantage.
The players exchanged service games before 16-time grand slam winner Williams broke Minella once more in the ninth game of the set, on her second match point.
"I feel like I was a little rusty for some reason today," said Williams. "I don't feel like I played my best. I felt really upset when I lost my serve in the second set.
"I never feel invincible, I always feel that I have to be ready for each opponent in each game. I never become over-confident and I think when I do, or if I do, that's the moment that I'm most vulnerable."
Williams will now face Caroline Garcia in round two after the Frenchwoman defeated Jie Zheng 6-3 6-4 earlier on Wednesday.
It was a welcome return to on-field battles after a tournament build-up focused on Williams' relationship with Maria Sharapova, who took unkindly to comments attributed to the American in Rolling Stone magazine.
World No 3 Sharapova took a swipe at the top seed's love life in riposte, leading tongues to wag and talk of a storm brewing at the top of the women's game - not that Williams has noticed.
Asked if she had been distracted or had any further remarks, Williams exclaimed: "Really? No, it hasn't been a distraction.
"Like I said, I'm just here to focus on the tennis. I'm just here to play Wimbledon. It's the premier tournament in the world, of the year, so that's what's most important.
"It felt good [to be playing tennis again]. I love playing here. Being defending champion is always a special moment for 12 months that you're going to play at one o'clock on Tuesday."