Novak Djokovic began his bid for a third straight Australian Open title with a straight-set victory and Maria Sharapova won 6-0, 6-0 to race into round two of the season-opening tennis Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne.
Defending Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal plays Michael Russell of the U.S. in the first round of the grass-court major, while Serena Williams starts her first Grand Slam in a year by taking on France’s Aravane Rezai.
Venus Williams’s quest for a third U.S. Open title ended with a withdrawal on a day fellow Americans Christina McHale and Irina Falconi had upset wins and Andy Roddick fought through his tournament opener.
Shattered glass severed tendons in her feet and required surgery twice. Blood clots reached her lungs and threatened her life. The only two tennis matches she played in 12 months produced the definition of mediocrity, a 1-1 record.
Serena Williams was warmly received by New York fans after winning in her return to the U.S. Open, where she joined defending champion Rafael Nadal and top seeds Novak Djokovic and Caroline Wozniacki in the second round.