27 Jun 2012

Younger Williams off to winning start at Wimbledon

11:59 am on 27 June 2012

Serena Williams has made a strong start in her bid for a fifth Wimbledon singles title, though she was made to work harder than her straight sets score would suggest.

Williams eventually overcame a dogged Czech opponent, the world number 62 Barbara Zahlavova Strycova, 6-2 6-4, the American's first serve proving to be a powerful weapon.

The women's fourth seed and defending champion Petra Kvitova is into the second round, though she looked tentative as she conceded a 4-1 lead in the first set against Uzbekistan's Akgul Amanmuradova before winning 6-4 6-4.

In the men's draw Rafael Nadal was taken to a first set tiebreaker before beating the Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci in straight sets, and the American Mardy Fish made a winning return to the game against Spain's Ruben Ramirez-Hidalgo, the world number 12's first match following a procedure to address a frightening heart scare.

Exits for Bernard Tomic, Lleyton Hewitt and Matt Ebden on day two left Australia without a men's singles representative in the second round at the All England Club for the first time since World War II.