Despite the 6-2, 6-1 score over her opponent, friend and training partner at the Mouratoglou Academy in Paris, Alize Lim, Serena played an error-filled match against the wild card entrant from France ranked 130 in the world and the match was much closed than the score indicated. For Lim, she was making her debut at a major.
“In the beginning, a lot of the games went to 30-all, so I think we were pretty even,” Serena said in press. “It was an interesting start. I was a little nervous, like I always am in my first round. It’s kind of always hard for me to shake those nerves and go from there.
“I think it’s nice to have a little bit of nerves, because it means that you still have a passion for it. You still have this inside feeling that you want to do really well or else the nerves wouldn’t be there.”
The 32-year-old 17-time major champion is now 54-1 in first-round matches at majors. He only loss coming at the 2012 French Open to 11th ranked Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano.
Sister Venus Williams started off slowly but gathered herself to defeat 17-year-old Swiss Belinda Bencic 6-4, 6-1. The year Venus turned pro was two-and-a-half years before Bencic was born.
“I’m just trying to hopefully stay alive myself as an older player,” Venus said.
“It’s definitely good to get the first round out of the way and try to get some rhythm,” said the soon-to-be 34-year-old. “I think I have started on Sunday before. In any case, we’re all ready to be called on Sunday and maybe this year it’s an opportunity, because I think the weather is not as good tomorrow. I was happy to play without any interruptions.”
Venus gave credit to Bencic who is the No. 1 junior player. “She’s played well,” Venus said. “I think she’s improved a lot since we played the first time, and she’s a great competitor.”