Seven-time champion Serena Williams has to comfort her German opponent after 49-minute hammering leaves her in TEARS as she leaves court at Australian Open
- Serena Williams raced into the second round at the Australian Open on Tuesday
- Williams thrashed Germany’s Tatjana Maria 6-0, 6-2 at a hot Melbourne Park
- The opening set only lasted 19 minutes with Williams dropping just five points
- Maria held serve twice in the second set but Williams was never under pressure
Serena Williams’ return to the Grand Slam stage proved as uneventful as her last appearance at one of the Majors was dramatic.
Playing her first official match since the controversy of September’s US Open, the 37 year-old American took just 49 minutes to sweep aside Germany’s Tatjana Maria 6-0, 6-2 on the Rod Laver Arena.
Facing one of the few other mothers playing on the main WTA Tour, Williams dropped only 24 points and had no threat to her serve whatsoever, winning the first set in just 19 minutes.
Seven-time champion Serena Williams stormed into the second round at the Australian Open
Tatjana Maria was no match for Williams on Rod Laver Arena
Maria wiped away a tear from her right eye as Williams joined the crowd in applauding her off
It was clearly an overwhelming experience for Maria who left the court alongside Williams
Williams was at her dominant best and took the first set inside just 19 minutes in Melbourne
American Williams looked fully focused as she began her bid for a 24th Grand Slam singles title
She will now face Eugenie Bouchard after she beat China’s Shuai Peng.
It was overwhelming for Maria, who got just two of her first serves into play in the first set and didn’t have game points until she held in the fourth game of the second set. She was in tears as the pair hugged at the net following the match, and Williams joined the crowd in giving the German player a clap as she left the arena.
‘Yeah, I think the last time I was here, I was pregnant and playing at the same time – which is insane,’ Williams said. ‘It’s kind of weird walking back on, by myself this time.’
Williams considers the 2017 victory here among the best of her 23 Grand Slam singles titles, giving everything that was going on. Since returning to the tour following the birth of Alexis Olympia, Williams hasn’t added to her list of majors, having lost the finals at Wimbledon and the US Open.
‘Literally the best win of my career,’ she recalled in a post-match TV interview. ‘Just exciting to be back.’
Thirty-one-year-old Maria had only twice reached round two in Melbourne and was outplayed
Williams stared down the court during what was a brutal demolition against the world No 74
But after the match 37-year-old Williams hugged Maria and tried to comfort her opponent
Williams put her around on Maria’s shoulder as the players walked off court at Melbourne Park
Maria stood with her head bowed as Williams spoke with her at the net following their match
Williams will now face Eugenie Bouchard after she beat China’s Shuai Peng