Serena Coasts to Victory in Australian Open

Published January 19, 2010

MELBOURNE, Australia – Serena Williams started the defense of her Australian Open title with a dominating 6-2, 6-1 win Tuesday over Polish teenager Urszula Radwanska.

Williams also only lost three games in her previous match at Melbourne Park: a 6-0, 6-3 win over now No. 2-ranked Dinara Safina in last year’s final.

Despite having her right thigh heavily wrapped with a White bandage, Williams didn’t show any signs of restricted movement.

The 28-year-old American hurt her left knee at the Sydney International last Friday night and later said she has been bothered by a foot problem.

Williams broke Radwanska in the opening game to set the tone. She broke Radwanska’s serve a second time with consecutive backhand winners for a 4-1 lead, then saved breakpoint in the sixth game — the only one she faced — in a no-nonsense approach to the match.

Even serving for the set at 5-1 and 40-0, she huffed when her forehand landed too long. Next point, she clinched the set with an ace.

Radwanska, an 18-year-old who was making her debut in the main draw of the season’s first major, saved three match points before dumping a backhand into the net.

Williams had the vocal backing of the crowd in Melbourne, where she has won the title every odd-numbered year since 2003.

“It’s such a great experience coming back, especially with my last moment out here holding up the trophy,” she said. “It’s one of my favorite Slams. I tend to do really well here.”

Her sister, Venus Williams, plays today against Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic.

Written by <P>By the Associated Press</P>

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