8 May 2012

Serena tickled pink with victory on Madrid's blue clay

7:39 am on 8 May 2012

The former tennis world number one Serena Williams marked her first European appearance of the season with victory on the Madrid Open's striking blue clay courts.

Holder Petra Kvitova also started well as the third seed defeated New Zealand's Marina Erakovic 6-2 6-3.

Towering Czech Kvitova beat Victoria Azarenka in the final last year before going on to win the Wimbledon title.

Williams, who reached the third round the last time she played in Madrid in 2010, powered past last week's Budapest Grand Prix runner-up Elena Vesnina of Russia 6-3 6-1.