Serena Wins Perth Season-Opener Ahead Of Great Slam Tilt

Serena Williams of the US hits a positive return against Maria Sakkari of A holiday in greece during their fifth session women’ s i9000 singles match on day 3 of the Hopman Cup tennis competition in Perth on December thirty-one, 2018. TONY ASHBY / AFP

Serena Williams overcame a sluggish start to earn her opening match of the year in Perth Monday, two weeks out of 2019’ s first Grand Throw.

The particular 37-year-old was a long way off the girl commanding best and was noticeably frustrated with her own game earlier in her Hopman Cup public match, but still did enough in order to beat Greece’ s Maria Sakkari in straight sets.

However , it was Sakkari and the girl team-mate Stefanos Tsitsipas who got the last laugh as Greece defeat the USA 2-1 in the mixed increases Group B tie.

In her first tournament getaway since the controversial loss to Naomi Osaka in the US Open final within September, Williams struggled early plus her groundstrokes were erratic within the first set.

Sakkari, ranked 41st in the world, gained an earlier break and served for the very first set but couldn’ t capitalise despite several gilt-edged opportunities.

That opened the door meant for Williams, the bookmakers’ favourite for your upcoming Australian Open in Melbourne, to power back and ultimately earn 7-6 (7/3), 6-2 in an hr and 44 minutes.

Williams had her left ankle joint worked on at the end of the first set however it didn’ t stop her taking over the second, in which she looked a lot more like the player who has won 23 Fantastic Slam singles titles.

“ I was making a lot of mistakes and I’ m like ‘ it’ s okay, it’ t your first match, it’ ll obtain better’, ” she said.

“ It’ s by no means easy (first match), there are wide range of errors that are going to be made and I think the two of us did pretty good. ”

Williams said her taped ankles weren’ t a concern so shortly before 2019’ s first Great Slam, blaming a little discomfort along with her shoes.

Williams won her last Grand Throw in Melbourne in 2017 yet wasn’ t able to defend the girl title due to the birth of her initial child.

Bidding in order to equal Margaret Court’ s report of 24 titles, she had been beaten in last year’ ersus Wimbledon and US Open titles.

Williams said the girl was looking forward to facing Swiss champ Roger Federer on Tuesday once the USA plays Switzerland and the set will be opponents for the first time in the combined doubles.

“ I have already been looking forward to it, this is so great, ” she said, adding it had been “ like a dream come true”.

Earlier, world number fifteen Tsitsipas gave Greece the initial benefit in the tie as he edged previous Frances Tiafoe in three units, 6-3, 6-7 (3/7), 6-3.

The Greek 20-year-old received the first set comfortably and guaranteed an early break in the second.

But the 39th-ranked American broke in the sixth game and levelled the particular match in the tie-break.

Another early break by Tsitsipas put him ahead in the 3rd and a sizzling backhand winner upon match point secured victory for your Greek.

The Ancient greek duo kept their tournament full of life when they won the deciding combined doubles, 4-1, 1-4, 4-2.

AFP