| Serena Williams returns the ball to Czech Republics Iveta Benesova during their match in Paris on Wednesday. The world No. 1 won 6-1, 6-4. (AP) |
Paris: World No. 1 Serena Williams eased into the second round of the Paris Open with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Czech Iveta Benesova on Wednesday.
The Australian Open champion won six games in a row to take the opening set and ended Benesovas misery with a backhand winner as the clock ticked past the hour.
The American top seed will next meet qualifier Karolina Sprem of Croatia for a quarterfinal spot.
I played as I expected. Since the Australian Open, I slept a lot, I have been sick, Williams told reporters.
It was a little virus, but not the flu. I resumed training on Tuesday, when I came here. But Im getting better.
Serena owns an apartment in Frances capital and loves being able to walk downstairs for crusty croissants and wander anonymously through the fresh food markets.
Toss her a merci and she lobs a de rien — say nothing of it — right back in French.
Ohh, I love it. I can totally live here full time, Williams gushed to reporters. Its much easier than hanging out in the United States, she said. I like the fact that I can kind of be myself. I do whatever. I want to do and dont have to worry about being recognized. I can just live more of a normal life and it's really cool.
Perhaps that home-away-from-home feeling of comfort will make a difference at Roland Garros, the Major where she has had least success, with just one title in 2002 in her only French Open final.
Swiss sixth seed Patty Schnyder beat Ukraines Alona Bondarenko to set up a second-round meeting with Frances Nathalie Dechy.
In a late match, Amelie Mauresmo gained revenge for her Fed Cup defeat by Sara Errani and thrashed the Italian 6-2 6-0 in 58 minutes. Errani had beaten Mauresmo on Sunday en route to Italy's 5-0 win over France in the women's team event. Swiss sixth seed Patty Schnyder beat Ukraines Alona Bondarenko to set up a second round meeting with Frances Nathalie Dechy.
In San Jose, top seed Andy Roddick began his bid for a fourth San Jose Open title with a 6-0 7-6 opening-round victory over Swedish qualifier Michael Ryderstedt on Tuesday.
It was a different match, the defending champion said. There wasnt a whole lot of rhythm to be had.
Roddick wrapped up the first set in 19 minutes, restricting Ryderstedt to just five points. However, the ease of winning the set made the second tough, the American world No. 6 said.
When he did step up his game, it was a little tough to really get into the moment again, the 26-year-old said. I could have returned a little bit better in the second set but he was serving great.
Roddick captured 88 per cent of points on his first serve and 74 per cent on the second. Fifth-seeded American Mardy Fish also won in straight sets, turning back Australian Lleyton Hewitt 7-6, 6-3. Eighth-seeded Robby Ginepri fell 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 to fellow American Todd Widom. (Agencies)