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Serena back to winning ways in Bastad

ESPN staff
July 16, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Serena Williams was playing for the first time since her shock Wimbledon fourth-round exit © Getty Images
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World No. 1 Serena Williams made light work of her first match since Wimbledon, advancing to the second round of the Swedish Open with a comfortable 6-1 6-2 victory over Sesil Karatancheva.

Williams, who was stunned in the fourth round at the All England Club by eventual finalist Sabine Lisicki, broke the Kazakhstani's misfiring serve five times on her debut appearance at the clay court event to wrap up victory in little over an hour.

"I'm always happy to get to the next round," Williams said. "It doesn't matter who you play, it's always a really good win to go on and move on, so I'm happy I made it through the match."

Asked about making her Bastad debut on a packed centre court, Williams added: "It felt great - I definitely didn't expect that. I walked out and I felt honoured. I could really feel a connection with the Swedish people. It was beautiful.

"I've always loved the clay - maybe my results weren't always as good on it," Williams added. "But I always loved sliding and running on it.

"Maybe I didn't always love being so consistent - that's something I'm doing a lot better at now, so I think that's why this has become a much better surface for me. And hard courts are so slow these days, so this isn't such bad preparation for the summer."

Third seed Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic beat Ellen Allgurin of Sweden 6-1 6-1, but former Wimbledon semi-finalist and No. 4 seed Tsvetana Pironkova was upset by Venezuelan qualifier Andrea Gamiz 6-1 6-3.

France's Mathilde Johansson defeated Julia Cohen of the United States 6-2 6-3, while Georgia's Anna Tatishvili beat Belinda Bencic of Switzerland 2-6 6-4 6-4 to set up a second-round showdown with Williams.

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