Gracious Williams barely sweats in Brisbane
Serena Williams of USA plays a forehand in her match against Varvara Lepchenko of USA during day one of the Brisbane International at Pat Rafter Arena on December 30, 2012 in Brisbane, Australia. Photo: Chris Hyde
She wasn't impressed with the winds whipping around Pat Rafter Arena and managed to look bored at times as she trudged between points.
But it was a matter of taking care of business for Serena Williams in the opening round of the Brisbane International.
Williams was far too good for countrywoman Varvara Lepchenko, the world number 148 who was born in Uzbekistan but now resides in Pennsylvania, dispatching her with casual disregard 6-2 6-1 on Pat Rafter Arena to begin her assault on the Australian Open.
It was a low-key start to the summer of tennis for Williams, the third seed who had a brilliant 2012 that included an Olympic gold medal and a fourth US Open crown. She never really lurched out of first gear and still managed to wrap up proceedings in 59 minutes.
It took the victorious match point for Williams to show any emotion, aside from the odd knee slap and reserved fist pump at the end of the first set.
When she did, she blew kisses to the crowd and heads into a second round meeting with Frenchwoman Alize Cornet or Australian qualifier Bojana Bobosic, who upset Czech Kristyna Pliskova 6-4 4-6 6-4.
Williams struggled to adjust her ball toss to the strong winds swirling through the semi-open arena at the beginning of the match but was soon into her stride, overpowering Lepchenko with little trouble aside from a pair of dropped games in the first that reduced her 4-0 lead to 4-2.
Williams withdrew from the last Brisbane International with an ankle injury and will be hoping for a happier run into the year's first Grand Slam event this time around.