MELBOURNE. — Serena Williams blitzed the first set in 19 minutes as she launched her quest for a 24th Grand Slam title with a quick-fire demolition of Anastasia Potapova at the Australian Open tennis tournament yesterday.
The 38-year-old American, wearing a lilac dress and matching trainers, and sporting heavily decorated fingernails, powered past the Russian teenager 6-0, 6-3 in 58 minutes.
The eighth seed plays Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia or Han Na-lae of South Korea in round two in an expectant Melbourne, where she can equal the all-time record of Grand Slam titles.
Williams comes into Melbourne in ominous form after breaking her three-year title drought with victory in Auckland – her first since becoming a mother to daughter Olympia. Olympia was there to see her mother win the title last week, but Williams said after easing to victory over the 18-year-old Potapova: “It was really special for me (Olympia) and her — I hope for her.”
But the American legend, speaking to an adoring crowd at the 15 000-capacity Rod Laver Arena, admitted that Olympia “just cares about Play-Doh”.
“I try to tell her I’m someone, you know,” she joked.
“(But) I am just known about town as Olympia’s mum — I love that.”
Williams threatened to blow away Potapova — who was temperamental at times – in embarrassingly rapid fashion. — AFP.