Serena sails through
Five-time champion loses just five games in opener
Last Updated: January 17, 2012 4:11pm
Serena Williams: Won easily on her return to Melbourne Park
Serena Williams put injury concerns to one side to cruise into the second round of the Australian Open.
A five-time winner of the Melbourne title, the American did not look troubled by her ankle - injured in Brisbane earlier this month - as she brushed aside Tamira Paszek 6-3 6-2.
In a match which did not start until gone 11pm local time, Paszek stayed level over the first six games - and actually had two break points early on - but from that point Williams' superior power took over.
The 30-year-old, who last won the title here in 2010 and could not defend last season due to injury, at one point served a game of four consecutive aces. She finished with a total of 12 and held serve throughout.
Afterwards, Williams said she was happy to be back playing in front of the Melbourne fans.
"I haven't been here in over a year so I was a little bit nervous - thank you for getting me through it," she said.
She added that she was happy to play late - the match had been delayed by an earlier four-hour men's contest featuring Lleyton Hewitt. "I'm definitely a night owl - I can stay up all night!"