Serena Williams battles through first round at Wimbledon

09:09, June 22, 2011      

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Serena Williams of the United States returns a shot during her first round match of women's singles against Aravane Rezai of France in 2011 Wimbledon tennis Championships in London, Britain, June 21, 2011. Williams won 2-1. (Xinhua/Zeng Yi)

Defending champion Serena Williams fought hard to see off her first round opponent Aravane Rezai at the Wimbledon Championships on Tuesday.

Williams, 29, began her title defending journey as the eighth seed and needed one hour and 31 minutes to defeat the world No. 61 Rezai from France 6-3, 3-6 and 6-1.

"I didn't expect to have any emotions, but I was pretty excited, " said the 13-time Grand Slam champion who shed tears after the victory.

"I just thought about all the things that was happening, me not being here. Wasn't necessarily expecting to come to Wimbledon this year. Making it and winning was pretty cool."

Williams took her fourth Wimbledon title last year but was forced to stay away from tennis since then after undergoing foot surgery and then developing blood clots in her lung. She finally announced coming back for the grass-court Grand Slam and warmed up at Eastbourne earlier this month.

"Being out for so long is really really unfortunate," said the American star. "I love playing tennis. I love being a part of the competition. So I thought if I could make it, I'll try to do my best. And that's what I did."

Williams said she had never cried for joy and the tear was not for the win. "It was all about being out there."

"You just have faith. If you believe in yourself, you just continue to fight and never give up," said Williams.

25th seeded Daniela Hantuchova from Slovakia also needed to fight for three sets to edged out Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-3.

The 15th seeded Jelena Jankovic from Serbia was ousted by Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 5-7, 6-4 and 6-3.


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Source:Xinhua
 
 
     
 
 
 
     
 
 
 
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