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Tennis: Rampant Serena into Wimbledon second round

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Top seed Serena Williams took the express route into the Wimbledon second round with a 6-1, 6-2 thrashing of fellow American Anna Tatishvili on Tuesday.

Williams, bidding for a sixth Wimbledon singles crown, was playing for the first time since her embarrassing French Open second round exit against Garbine Muguruza and the world number one needed only 61 minutes on Centre Court to erase the bitter taste of that defeat.

Blitzing the Georgian-born world number 113 with 31 winners and 16 aces, Serena, a 17-time Grand Slam champion, raced through to a meeting with American Christina McHale or South Africa's Chanelle Scheepers for a place in the last 32.

Serena admitted she had struggled a little with the slick grasscourt, occasionally losing her footing and suffering a few bumps and bruises.

Asked how she felt, the American said: "I think I'll be OK. I'll see tomorrow. It was weird. I was fell so many times.

"It's probably just getting my bearings because I didn't play much grasscourt tennis last year."

Given her difficulties adapting to the grass, Serena admitted she was happy to have seen off a hard-hitting opponent with few alarms.

"Last time I played Anna she finished the match so tough and she started off where that one ended," she said. "She can hit really hard and I was ready for that."

The 32-year-old, who has now lost only one of her 56 first round Grand Slam matches, would become the second oldest woman to win Wimbledon if she lifts the Venus Rosewater dish this year, behind only Martina Navratilova, who clinched the title in 1990 aged 33.

Williams, who last won Wimbledon in 2012, looks in the mood to do exactly that on the evidence of a dominant display inspired by a desire to avoid repeats of those frustrating early exits from this year's Grand Slams in Australia and Paris.

She celebrated the win by saluting the crowd for their warm reception on her first appearance at Wimbledon since last year's surprise fourth round defeat against Sabine Lisicki.

"The reaction from the crowd has been great," Williams added. "I love playing at Wimbledon. You dream of playing here when you're really young.

"To still be playing here is a great honour for me. Every time I step out on that court, it makes me want to keep coming back for years and years."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140624/tennis-rampant-serena-wimbledon-second-round-0