Serena Wil­liams sweeps Camila Giorgi 6-4, 7-5 in the first round of the Aus­tralian Open.

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By The As­so­ci­ated Press

mel­bourne, aus­tralia» De­fend­ing cham­pion Serena Wil­liams has won her firstround match in the Aus­tralian Open on Mon­day, beat­ing Camila Giorgi of Italy 6-4, 7-5 at Rod Laver Arena.

Wil­liams, who just missed a cal­en­dar-year Grand Slam in 2015 when she lost in the U.S. Open semi­fi­nals, was helped by 12 dou­ble-faults by the Ital­ian player, in­clud­ing on break point in the 11th game of the se­cond set to give Wil­liams a 6-5 lead.

The 21-time ma­jor cham­pion held her ser­vice at love in the next game, in­clud­ing two aces and a ser­vice win­ner, to close out the match in 1 hour, 45 min­utes.

Wil­liams ap­peared to show no sore­ness from re­cent in­flam­ma­tion in her left knee.

“It wasn’t quick, so that ac­tu­ally worked to my ad­van­tage as well,” Wil­liams said. “I think I was able to stay in it and stay calm to­day and I think that’s what mat­ters most.”

Nishikori ad­vances in men’s.

Kei Nishikori has be­come the first of the seeded men’s play­ers to ad­vance to the se­cond round of the Aus­tralian Open.

The sev­enth-seeded Nishikori, who reached the quar­ter­fi­nals last year, beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 with­out fac­ing a break point Mon­day.

Nishikori strug­gled with a se­ries of in­juries last year but said he was feel­ing sharp af­ter his first match in Mel­bourne.

Vin­cent Thian, The As­so­ci­ated Press

Serena Wil­liams cel­e­brates vic­tory over Camila Giorgi.

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