Melbourne: Serena Williams suffered a major injury scare just minutes into her bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam today, while Andy Murray opened his account in majestic style at the Australian Open.
Williams, gunning for the first sweep of all four major titles in the same year since 1988, was on court for only 19 minutes against Edina Gallovits-Hall before going over heavily on her right ankle.
However, after medical treatment and despite hobbling around the court, the 15-time Grand Slam-winner astonishingly won 6-0, 6-0 in just 54 minutes as she belted every winner in sight to limit her running to a minimum.
Afterwards, the 31-year-old said she felt pain and swelling and may need an x-ray, but she pledged to soldier on in the next round.
"Oh, I`ll be out there. I mean, unless something fatal happens to me, there`s no way I`m not going to be competing," she said. "I`m alive. My heart`s beating. I`ll be fine."
She added: "Obviously there`s pain. Obviously there`s swelling. So it`s going to be really important to see how the next few hours unfold."
Any lasting injury to the hot favourite could throw the women`s draw wide open and may benefit defending champion Victoria Azarenka, who is scheduled to meet Williams in the semi-finals.
The world number one beat Romania`s Monica Niculescu to reach the second round, but had to come from 3-0 down in the second set before winning 6-1, 6-4.
Caroline Wozniacki, last year`s top seed and now ranked at world number 10, also had to dig deep before reeling off six third-set games in a row to beat Germany`s Sabine Lisicki.
"Today I had to get my fighting spirit up and fight back, and it paid off. It`s a new year and a new tournament and that`s basically all I think about," Wozniacki said.