Australian Open 2016: Relieved Serena Williams reaches second round

Serena Williams has already won the Australian Open title six times.

Reuters| Last Updated: Jan 18, 2016, 09:37 AM IST
Australian Open 2016: Relieved Serena Williams reaches second round

Melbourne: Defending champion Serena Williams reached the second round of the Australian Open on Monday after completing a tense 6-4 7-5 win over feisty Italian Camila Giorgi in her first tour match in four months.

The world number one had barely played any competitive tennis since her U.S. Open exit last September and entered a sweltering Rod Laver Arena with doubts over her fitness to face the highest-ranked unseeded player in the draw.

The slight but hard-hitting Giorgi conceded a 4-1 lead early but steadied to give the American a genuine test and Williams` roars of frustration underlined the growing tension as the match progressed.

However, it was Giorgi who wilted at 5-5 in the second set, a double-fault handing Williams the decisive break and allowing the American to close out the match with a barrage of booming serves.