Brisbane - Serena Williams opened her season with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Varvara Lepchenko in the first round of the Brisbane International on Sunday, showing glimpses of the game that made her the most dominant player on the women's tennis tour in 2012.
After saving five break points as she adjusted to a strong breeze in the first game, Williams raced to a 4-0 lead and was rarely troubled by the Uzbekistan-born Lepchenko, who is ranked No 21 and represents the United States.
Williams, who won 31 of her 32 matches in the second half of last season including titles at Wimbledon, the Olympics, the US Open at the WTA Championships, is coming off minor surgery on her big toes which forced her to withdraw from a December 29 exhibition in Thailand.
Results of matches played at the Brisbane International on Sunday (x denotes seeding):
Urszula Radwanska (POL) bt Tamira Paszek (AUT) 2-6, 6-0, 6-2
Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) bt Roberta Vinci (ITA) 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) bt Lucie Hradecka (CZE) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
Petra Kvitova (CZE x6) bt Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) 6-3, 6-4
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) bt Lourdes Dominguez Lino (ESP) 7-5, 6-2
Serena Williams (USA x3) bt Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 6-2, 6-1