Serena Williams reaches 2nd round at Wimbledon | Tennis
Serena Williams, who lost her first-round match at the French Open last month, won her Wimbledon opener.
The New York Times
WIMBLEDON, England — All the emotions produced by her shocking defeat in Paris last month — disappointment, stress, motivation — were released by Serena Williams in one cathartic outburst Tuesday, after a first-round victory that stemmed the tide of on-court misfortune plaguing her and her sister.
Playing on the same Court 2 lawn that claimed Venus Williams a day earlier, sixth-seeded Serena Williams beat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-4 with zeal seldom seen from her in an opening-round match.
Williams did not say it outright, but for her this was not a standard opener. Not after the French Open, where she frittered away a commanding lead and lost in the opening round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in her career. And not after sister Venus, battling an autoimmune disorder, was dusted in straight sets Monday by Elena Vesnina of Russia. Thus, a shriek as Zahlavova Strycova's forehand sailed long.
"Definitely there was relief," Williams said.
But there was more.
"It always has some sort of effect," she replied when asked about Venus' loss. "I always want to play better if she's out of the tournament."
Her draw seemingly has no serious threats until a possible quarterfinal matchup with the defending champion, Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic. Grass suits the 30-year-old Williams' aggressive, powerful style far more than the red clay of Roland Garros, where Virginie Razzano of France dismantled her in the first round.
The Williams sisters learned Tuesday they had been selected to represent the United States next month at the London Olympics. Twice they have played together in the Games, and twice they have won the gold medal, in 2000 and 2008.
Men's winners on the second day included No. 2 Rafael Nadal of Spain and No. 4 Andy Murray of Scotland.