17 Jan 2017

Serena Williams through to second round

5:57 pm on 17 January 2017

The six-time Australian tennis Open champion, Serena Williams, has breathed a sigh of relief after seeing off Belinda Bencic to reach the second round of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

02.09.2015. New York City, NY, USA. U.S. Serena Williams (USA) during the 2015 U.S. Open Tennis Championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens, New York, USA

Serena Williams. Photo: Photosport

Improving her phenomenal first-round record at grand slams to 66 wins and one defeat, Williams beat the highly rated Swiss teenager 6-4 6-3 in one hour, 19 minutes on Tuesday.

The American, who made double the number of unforced errors as her 19-year-old opponent, wobbled trying to close out the match, losing three successive games from 3-love in the second set, before advancing.

"She's such a great player. She was just recently in the top 10 so she's been playing great," Williams said.

"It was one of the toughest first-round matches I've played so I knew I had to come out strong."

Williams next plays Czech Lucie Safarova on Thursday in a rematch of their 2015 French Open final.