Serena Williams strolls to victory at Wimbledon
London: Serena Williams started the defence of her Wimbledon title with a straight sets win on Tuesday, comfortably seeing off Portuguese teenager Michelle Larcher de Brito despite a spirited fightback.
The American world number one defeated the 17-year-old, who is known for her loud grunting, 6-0, 6-4 inside an hour and three minutes on Centre Court with an impressive display of power hitting.
"When I saw the draw, I thought, oh, last time I played her it was a really tough match, so I`m really glad to get through," the top seed said.
Williams faces Russia`s Anna Chakvetadze in the second round.
The defending men`s champion gets the honour of opening on Centre Court on day one of the tournament, while the ladies` title holder opens the second day.
But while Roger Federer was forced to come back from two sets down and had to break Alejandro Falla`s serve to save the match, there was no such trouble for Williams.
The pair had only faced each other once before, at Stanford in 2008, when Williams won in three sets after losing the first.
But the Lisbon right-hander did not come near taking a set this time, as her service faltered and Williams remained in control.
In the first game, Williams took Larcher de Brito to deuce and broke serve, then followed up with some powerful strokes for a 2-0 lead.
Williams then took the next game to love, with the Portuguese number one unable to match her opponent`s
groundstrokes. The American then held serve.
Larcher de Brito`s first serve was faltering, allowing Williams to break again. The Portuguese only got 32 per cent of her first serves in.
Williams, meanwhile, won 100 per cent of the points on her first serve in the first set, which she sealed inside 22 minutes.
Larcher de Brito started slowly in the second set but then began showing flashes of her talent, eventually getting into rallies and going the distance with Williams, who had to
battle on her opponent`s serve.
But the champion`s serve was never in question as she sent down 15 aces throughout the match.
The American broke again in the first game of the second set, then held serve.
Larcher de Brito went 40-30 up in the third game and won it when Williams hit a forehand into the net.
The American rained down aces for a 3-1 lead. Larcher de Brito started showed flashes of her talent with some forehand winners, and took the next game on a deuce as she triumphed in a long rally.
Though Larcher de Brito was able to go the distance with Williams in the rallies, the three-time Wimbledon singles champion took the following game to love.
Larcher de Brito then went 40-0 up on her serve and won the game to 15 when Williams hit wide.
The champion was being forced to dig in but took the next game to leave Larcher de Brito serving to stay in the match at 5-3 down.
The Portuguese sent a shot long to leave her a match point down and went to deuce when Williams hit the net. She then took it when Williams miscued.
However, the top seed saw off the comeback, winning the match with an ace.