Serena Williams all smiles in US Open return | Inquirer Sports

Serena Williams all smiles in US Open return

/ 02:46 PM August 31, 2011

Serena Williams . AFP file photo

NEW YORK – Serena Williams stormed into the second round of the US Open on Tuesday with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Serbian teenager Bojana Jovanovski.

She was all smiles after the win, a marked contrast to her last singles appearance at the US Open, when her 2009 semi-final against Kim Clijsters ended amid jeers after she unleashed a tirade of abuse at a lineswoman.

The ugly outburst in a 6-4, 7-5 defeat eventually earned Williams a fine of $82,500, but she said on the eve of this year’s tournament that the episode was long behind her.

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Taking to the Arthur Ashe stadium court on Tuesday night she again insisted the incident was forgotten.

“It was two years ago, and last year I didn’t play,” Williams said. “If anything, I thought, ‘Wow, I’m back. I haven’t played in a long time.’

“I’m telling you, out of sight, out of mind for me. You guys should try it.”

There were no hard feelings from the New York crowd, who gave the American a warm welcome before she powered through a 56 minute match with just 10 unforced errors and 22 winners.

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She booked a second-round match with Dutch qualifier Michaela Krajicek — a 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-1 winner over Greece’s Eleni Daniilidou.

Williams missed the 2010 US Open after cutting her foot on glass at a restaurant not long after her 2010 Wimbledon victory.

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Surgery followed, and then life-threatening blood clots on her lungs.

After missing the Australian and French Opens this year, she made her comeback in the sedate surroundings of Eastbourne before enduring a fourth round exit at Wimbledon.

That defeat to France’s Marion Bartoli sent her plummeting out of the top 150 in the world rankings.

But tournament wins at Stanford and Toronto helped her back into the top 30 and even an injury-enforced withdrawal from Cincinnati hasn’t affected her status as the player nobody wants to face.

“I’m so happy to be here. I didn’t think I would make it,” Williams, seeded 28th, told the crowd, but there was no repeat of the tears that flowed when she returned to Wimbledon.

“This is definitely different,” she said. “Wimbledon was amazing for me to even be there and play.

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“Here I have more preparation and I’ve been doing better. I’m happy to be here, but it was just a totally different thing.”

TAGS: Serena Williams, Sports, Tennis, US Open

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