Serena on the march


MELBOURNE, January 19 – World number one Serena Williams got her Australian Open title defence off to the best possible start when she demolished Poland's Urszula Radwanska 6-2, 6-1 on Tuesday.Playing with no sign of the left knee injury that hampered her last week in Sydney but with her right thigh heavily strapped, Williams broke Radwanska twice in the first set and three times in the second on her way to a comfortable victory.

Despite the lopsided scoreline, Williams was made to work hard for her victory with Radwanska keeping the top seed on court for 73 minutes.

The 19-year-old Pole was not overawed by the occasion and tried to move Williams around the court throughout the match, but the defending champion was always in control.

The nature of the victory will make Williams’ rivals sit up and take note as the American can be a slow starter at Grand Slams.

While Williams made 25 unforced errors against Radwanska, she also hit 26 winners to her opponent’s 13 and looks a good chance to add a fifth Australian Open title to her collection.

She now faces either Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic or fellow American Jill Craybas in the second round.