Wimbledon 2013: Williams happy to progress after ‘rusty’ performance

Wimbledon 2013: Defending champion Serena Williams beat Mandy Minella 6-1 6-3 to book her place in the second round

Wimbledon 2013: Williams happy to progress after ‘rusty’ performance

Serena Williams claimed she felt a “little rusty” despite cruising into the second round of Wimbledon after a straight-sets victory over Mandy Minella.

The top seed looked in imperious form as she stretched her winning streak to 31 victories after seeing off the Luxembourg world No92 6-1 6-3.

Williams’ serve was firing on all cylinders as the American didn’t drop a point on her serve in the first set and seemingly brushed away all the pre-match debate regarding her “feud” with Maria Sharapova.

“It hasn’t been a distraction. Like I said, I’m just here to focus on the tennis,” said Williams.

“I’m just here to play Wimbledon. It’s the premier tournament in the world – and of the year, so that’s what’s most important.

She added: “I feel like I was little rusty for some reason today. I don’t feel like I played my best.

“It wasn’t an easy match for me.”

In truth, Minella, 27, struggled to compete with the typically powerful Williams’ ground-strokes as the five-time Wimbledon champion wrapped up victory in just 57 minutes.

The second set did provide a scare for the American, with Minella securing an early break to take a 2-0 lead.

However, that was short-lived as Williams broke straight back to level proceedings before securing a break of her own to lead 4-2 and eventually close out the set and the match.

“I love being here. Being defending champion is always a special moment for 12 months that you’re going to play at 1:00 on Tuesday,” she added.

“It definitely felt good to step out there and be on the court and hit some balls around.”

Williams will now face Caroline Garcia in the second round after the Frenchwoman defeated Jie Zheng 6-3 6-4 earlier on Tuesday.

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