Serena Williams back to what she does best

02:35, Jun 26 2013
Wimbledon 2013
Andy Murray wins in straight sets in the first round of Wimbledon 2013, proving he can handle the pressure of British expectations.
Wimbledon 2013
Victoria Azarenka is in pain, but hit back to win through in straight sets.
Wimbledon 2013
Roger Federer has eased through in the first round of Wimbledon after his disappointment in Paris.
Wimbledon 2013
Lleyton Hewitt managed to surprise a few with his shock victory over Stanislav Wawrinka.
Wimbledon 2013
Ana Ivanovic has made it through to the second round of Wimbledon 2013.
Wimbledon 2013
Petra Kvitova celebrates in style after securing a first round victory at Wimbledon.
Wimbledon 2013
Kristina Mladenovic plays a forehard - but her Wimbledon adventure didn't last long against Maria Sharapova.
Wimbledon 2013
Garbine Muguruza delivers a big forehand against home favourite Anne Keothavong at Wimbledon.
Wimbledon 2013
In one of the biggest shocks of all time Rafael Nadal departed a Grand Slam in the first round for the first time.
Wimbledon 2013
Nadal was beaten by unheralded Belgian Steve Darcis - the biggest win of the journeyman's career.
Wimbledon 2013
Glamour girl Maria Sharapova made it through easily enough, keeping up her record of never losing in the first round at Wimbledon.
Wimbledon 2013
Caroline Wozniacki fared better than boyfriend Rory McIlroy has over the last few months with first-round victory at Wimbledon.
Carina Witthoeft
Germany's Carina Witthoeft serves during her first round loss to Kimiko Date-Krumm.
Sam Stosur
Sam Stosur took just over an hour to sweep aside Slovakian teenager Anna Schmiedlova.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams got her Wimbledon title defence underway, winning in less than an hour.
Marina Erakovic
Marina Erakovic hit 12 aces and 40 winners as she got past Japan's Ayumi Morita in the first round.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic signs autographs for fans after his first round win over Germany's Florian Mayer.
Bernard Tomic
An ill Bernard Tomic covers his face with a towel during a change of ends.
Laura Robson
Local hope Laura Robson celebrates after defeating 10th-seed Maria Kirilenko.
Alison Riske
Alison Riske appears to be among the crowd as she serves during her match on Court 10.
Wimbledon centre court
A soldier stands on Wimbledon's centre court during a break in play.
Wimbledon balls
A ball boy lays out new balls at Wimbledon.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova gets up after slipping on centre court during her second round loss to qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito.
Lleyton Hewitt
Lleyton Hewitt wipes sweat from his face during his loss to Dustin Brown.
Aussie Fanatics
Members of the Aussie Fanatics spectator group during Lleyton Hewitt's match.
Wimbledon net
A player walks behind the net during a break at Wimbledon.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams avoided the string of upsets taking out top seeds at Wimbledon, beating Caroline Garcia 6-3 6-2 in the second round.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova, bounced from Wimbledon on day three, watches boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov in action.
Virginia Wade
Commentator and former Wimbledon winner Virginia Wade speaks to the camera.
Grigor Dimitrov
Grigor Dimitrov winces as he gets treatment during his match against Grega Zemlja.
Jesse Levine
Jesse Levine of Canada stretches to hit a volley against Juan Martin del Potro.
Bernard Tomic
Bernard Tomic stumbles to the grass during his match against James Blake.
Juan Martin del Potro
Juan Martin del Potro serves during his centre court match against Jesse Levine.
Klara Zakopalova
Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic hits a backhand shot against Annika Beck.
Marina Erakovic
Marina Erakovic pumps her fists after upsetting 24th seed Peng Shuai in the second round at Wimbledon.
Wimbledon roof
Grounds crew remove the covers after the centre court roof was closed during match between Agnieszka Radwanska and Mathilde Johansson..
Laura Robson
Laura Robson plays a forehand shot during the conclusion of her match against Colombian qualifier Mariana Duque-Marino.
Grigor Dimitrov
Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov slips into the splits on a slippery court against Grega Zmelja.
Jurgen Melzer
Jurgen Melzer tumbles head over heels during his match against Sergiy Stakhovsky.
Jerzy Janowicz
Jerzy Janowicz gets down low to play a backhand volley.
Angelique Kerber
Angelique Kerber gathers her thoughts beneath a towel during her loss to Kaia Kanepi.
British fan
A spectator in Union Jack clothing cheers on Laura Robson.
Wimbledon 2013 gallery
Andy Murray celebrates his win over Tommy Robredo.
Mikhail Youzhny
Mikhail Youzhny salutes to his supporters after defeating Victor Troicki in the third round at Wimbledon.
Marina Erakovic
Marina Erakovic missed a chance to serve for the match, then lost eight straight games to Laura Robson.
Laura Robson
Laura Robson reaches to play a forehand against Marina Erakovic.
Kenny de Scheepers
Kenny de Scheepers plays a shot on the run.
Wimbledon fans
Wimbledon fans dressed in all in pink watch Bernard Tomic and Richard Gasquet.
Bernard Tomic
Bernard Tomic drops to all fours after hitting a shot at the net.
Sabine Lisicki
Sabine Lisicki plays a forehand against Sam Stosur.
David Ferrer
David Ferrer is all concentration as he hits a backhand against Alexandr Dolgopolov.
Wimbledon 2013
Hot favourite Serena Williams is the latest big name to go out of the 2013 Wimbledon championships.
Wimbledon 2013
Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland celebrates after defeating Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria in their women's singles match.
Wimbledon 2013
Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina hides his face in his shirt after losing a point during his men's singles tennis match against Andreas Seppi.
Wimbledon 2013
Sabine Lisicki of Germany celebrates after defeating Serena Williams of the U.S. in their women's singles match.
Wimbledon 2013
Andy Murray of Great Britain celebrates match point during the Gentlemen's Singles fourth round match against Mikhail Youzhny of Russia on day seven of Wimbledon.
Wimbledon 2013
Novak Djokovic of Serbia in action during the Gentlemen's Singles fourth round match against Tommy Haas of Germany on day seven of Wimbledon.
Wimbledon 2013
Jerzy Janowicz of Poland celebrates match point during the Gentlemen's Singles fourth round match against Jurgen Melzer of Austria.
Kerrilyn Cramer
Chair umpire Kerrilyn Cramer watches on during the women's quarterfinal between Sabine Lisicki and Kaia Kanepi.
Kaia Kanepi
Estonian Kaia Kanepi plays a no-look backhand.
Sabine Lisicki
Sabine Lisicki reacts after a point during her quarterfinal victory over Kaia Kanepi.
Agnieszka Radwanska
Agnieszka Radwanska (right) and Li Na shake hands after their three-set Wimbledon quarterfinal.
Marion Bartoli
Marion Bartoli is handed new racquets by a ball-boy during her match against Sloane Stephens.
Sloane Stephens
Sloane Stephens powers into a forehand against Marion Bartoli.
Wimbledon rain
Spectators huddle under umbrellas during a rain break at Wimbledon.
Wimbledon rain
Wimbledon ground crew sprint out on the court to bring out the rain covers.
Kirsten Flipkens
Belgian Kirsten Flipkens reacts after upsetting Petra Kvitova to reach the semifinals.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic serves in the first set during his quarterfinal against Tomas Berdych.
Tomas Berdych
Tomas Berdych squeezes a backhand volley over the net.
Juan Martin del Potro
Juan Martin del Potro drops to the grass after finishing off David Ferrer.
David Ferrer
David Ferrer could not take advantage of Juan Martin del Potro's injured knee.
Sir Alex Ferguson and Nemanja Vidic
Sir Alex Ferguson and Nemanja Vidic watch Andy Murray.
Jerzy Janowicz and Lukasz Kubot
Jerzy Janowicz (right) swaps shirts with compatriot Lukasz Kubot after their all-Polish quarterfinal at Wimbledon.
Jerzy Janowicz
Jerzy Janowicz plays a backhand shot during his quarterfinal against Lukasz Kubot.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray's face shows the anguish as he fell two sets behind.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray throws his wrist-band into the crowd after defeating Fernando Verdasco.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray stretches full-length to reach a ball against Fernando Verdasco.
Murray Mound
Spectators on 'Murray Mound' watch Andy Murray play Fernando Verdasco on the big screen.
Fernando Verdasco
Fernando Verdasco won the first two sets but could not hold off Andy Murray.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic is handed his racquet by a ballboy after falling while diving to play a shot.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic kicks the ball away on a Juan Martin del Potro service fault.
Juan Martin del Potro
Juan Martin del Potro takes a seat with the crowd to catch his breath.
Juan Martin del Potro
Juan Martin del Potro stretches for a forehand volley.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic leaps in the air as he returns a Juan Martin del Potro serve.
Marion Bartoli
Marion Bartoli with the Venus Rosewater Dish after winning the ladies singles final at Wimbledon.
Marion Bartoli
Marion Bartoli poses with the Venus Rosewater Dish.
Marion Bartoli
Marion Bartoli is at full-stretch to play a shot.
Sabine Lisicki
Sabine Lisicki shed more tears, this time after losing in the final.
Sabine Lisicki
Sabine Lisicki had no answers for Marion Bartoli.
Wimbledon
Wimbledon ballgirls wait while a point is played.
Wimbledon
Clear blue skies hang over Wimbledon for the ladies singles final.
Bryan Brothers
The Bryan brothers do their trademark chest-bump after winning the Wimbledon title.
Bryan Brothers
The Bryan brothers, Bob (left) and Mike, hold up the gentlemen's doubles trophies after winning their fourth straight grand slam.
Wimbledon 2013
Andy Murray lifts the Wimbledon trophy.
Wimbledon 2013
People in Andy Murray's hometown, Dunblane, celebrate his Wimbledon victory.
Wimbledon 2013
Andy Murray celebrates after winning the Wimbledon final against Novak Djokovic.
Wimbledon 2013 gallery
Andy Murray reacts after winning Wimbledon.

After a week filled by a headline-grabbing, off-court tiff with Maria Sharapova and a series of apologies stemming from a magazine profile, Serena Williams got back to doing what she does best.

Better than anyone in the world right now, really.

Extending her winning streak to 32 matches, the longest single-season run on the women's tour since 2000, Williams began her bid for a sixth Wimbledon championship and 17th Grand Slam title overall with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over 92nd-ranked Mandy Minella of Luxembourg on Tuesday.

"You can call her pretty much unbeatable," Minella said. "She's playing better than ever. ... Every time she steps on court, you can see why."

And yet Williams, the defending champion at the All England Club, and Patrick Mouratoglou, the French coach who's been helping her during the current 75-3 stretch that dates to the start of Wimbledon last year, both gave this assessment: There are areas of her game that could use some fine-tuning.

"After today, there's so many ways that I can improve," the No. 1-ranked and No. 1-seeded Williams said, "and that I'm going to need to improve if I want to be in the second week of this tournament."

Advertisement

Really? How about some examples?

"Come on," Williams replied, tilting her head and smiling.

Here was Mouratoglou's take after watching Williams win her first 17 service points and compile a 25-5 edge in total winners on Centre Court: "I mean, of course, not everything is perfect yet. It's interesting to see what we need to work on for the (coming) days."

They also agreed that she did not have too hard a time setting aside the events of the previous seven days, which included a lot of saying "I'm sorry" - face-to-face with Sharapova, at a news conference, in two separate statements posted on the web - over things Williams was quoted as saying in a Rolling Stone story.

Williams made a negative reference in a phone conversation to a top-five player's love life (the piece's author surmised that was about Sharapova) and an off-the-cuff remark about a widely publicized rape case in the U.S. that was perceived by some as criticizing the victim.

"It hasn't been a distraction," Williams insisted. "I'm just here to focus on the tennis."

All in all, by easily winning her first match since claiming the French Open title on June 8, she helped restore order at Wimbledon 24 hours after a chaotic Day 1.

It was a day that included the only first-round Grand Slam loss of 12-time major champion Rafael Nadal's career and a scary-looking, knee-twisting tumble by two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka during her win.

The highest-seeded player to depart Tuesday was No. 10 Maria Kirilenko, beaten 6-3, 6-4 by teenager Laura Robson, the first British woman to beat a top-10 player at Wimbledon in 15 years.

Of the 10 local players who entered the tournament, Robson and reigning U.S. Open champion Andy Murray, last year's runner-up at the All England Club, are the only two left.

"It's hard for all the British players to come in here and, you know, lose first round," said Robson, who beat Kim Clijsters at the 2012 U.S. Open in the last match of the four-time major champion's career, "because you just feel extra disappointed."

Other women winning easily included No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska, the 2012 runner-up to Williams; 2011 French Open champion Li Na; and No. 7 Angelique Kerber, who eliminated Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the U.S. 6-3, 6-4.

Nadal's straight-set loss to 135th-ranked Steve Darcis was still a main topic of conversation, and top-seeded Novak Djokovic called it a reminder that "you cannot take anything or anybody for granted."

"To be honest, I was expecting him to be a bit rusty on the court," Djokovic said. "In the opening rounds, obviously, it's very dangerous for top players who haven't been playing on grass. ... On the other side of the net is somebody that is lower ranked, he has nothing to lose, so he's going for his shots."

As Djokovic dispatched 34th-ranked Florian Mayer of Germany 6-3, 7-5, 6-4, the only real hitch was when he slipped to the Centre Court grass.

No. 4 David Ferrer, who reached his first Grand Slam final at the French Open but lost to Nadal, took two falls and said he felt a "little bit of pain" in his left ankle during a 6-1, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 victory over 101st-ranked Martin Alund of Argentina.

Sam Querrey, an American seeded 21st, lost 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3), 3-6, 2-6, 6-3 to 59th-ranked Australian Bernard Tomic in a match most noteworthy for what was said afterward.

Tomic ripped into the ATP for barring his father, who is also his coach, from attending tournaments for 12 months because of pending assault charges and said he'll ask Wimbledon to let Dad attend his next match.

Querrey, meanwhile, was miffed that Tomic got a chance to collect himself while being checked by trainers after saying he felt lightheaded in the fourth set.

"I knew he was kind of dizzy, but let's go; it's a physical game," Querrey said. "That's part of it. If you're dizzy or hurt, you've got to play through it. You can't just take breaks. That's not why I lost. But I felt I had some momentum there and that leveled the playing field for the fifth set."

It's been difficult for any opponent to things close against Williams lately, even if she claimed Tuesday, "I never feel invincible."

Her practice-makes-perfect pledge might give future opponents pause, starting with Caroline Garcia, who will face Williams in the second round for the second Grand Slam tournament in a row.

After losing to Williams 6-1, 6-2 at the French Open last month, Garcia made these observations: "I need to work on my game to pose more problems for her next time" and "She hits hard."

You don't say.

Dealing with serves that came in at up to 121 mph (195 kph) - that readout on the speed clock prompted murmuring among impressed spectators - Minella managed to put only half of her returns in play.

"When I stood right in front of her, I looked at her and not at the ball at the beginning. Because it's just unreal; because I've never played against this type of player. It's a lot of stuff you have to deal with," Minella said.

"The strength and the heavy spin of her serve is definitely better than anyone else, I would say," Minella added. "It is different from what I've seen. But it's also because it's too good... Many other players wouldn't reach the ball today."

Still, for a brief moment, Minella appeared to be getting into the match. A double-fault by Williams handed over a break that gave Minella a 2-0 lead in the second set. Serving at 40-30 in the next game, Minella was a point from a 3-0 edge.

That's when Williams got her act together, producing a cross-court backhand winner to get to deuce while taking 15 of 18 points to go ahead 4-2.

"In these moments," Minella observed, "she can raise her level."

AP