A pain-free Serena Williams sent an ominous warning to her rivals as she crushed fellow American Varvara Lepchenko 6-2, 6-1 in the first round of the Brisbane International yesterday.
Third seed Williams pulled out of an exhibition tournament in Thailand last week amid concerns she had not fully recovered from a foot surgery. But she looked in great touch against Lepchenko, who was never able to trouble Williams after squandering five break points in the opening game.
The 15-time grand slam winner quickly found her groove as she romped away to win.
“My foot didn’t hurt today. I was a little nervous, but I was completely fine,” a relieved Williams said. “I was excited to get an early start so just in case I did have any pain I could have tomorrow off, but everything was fine,” she added.
Williams entered the tournament as firm favourite after a stellar second half of 2012, during which she won Wimbledon, the US Open, the WTA Championship and the Olympics.