Serena steamrolls Maria in Australian Open return

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal pose for photos after Australian Open final

Serena Williams completely overpowered Tatjana Maria 6-0 6-2 in a one-sided first-round affair at Melbourne Park on Tuesday.

Serena Williams produced a merciless display at the Australian Open as she blitzed Tatjana Maria on the former world number one’s return to Melbourne.

Williams – seeking a record-equalling 24th grand slam crown – missed last year’s Australian Open due to fitness issues, having given birth to her first child four months earlier.

The 37-year-old, who was involved in an ugly row with chair umpire Carlos Ramos in her US Open final loss to Naomi Osaka, completely overpowered German opponent Maria 6-0 6-2 in a one-sided first-round affair at Melbourne Park on Tuesday.

Williams made it eight consecutive victories without dropping a set in Melbourne following her 49-minute rout.

All eyes were on Williams and the American superstar dazzled from the outset, revealing a new outfit at the end of the warm-up, earning a roaring cheer from the crowd.

Playing in a green bodysuit, Williams’ power was too much to handle for Maria as the 16th seed barely raised a sweat in the opening set, which she won in just 18 minutes thanks to nine winners.

Maria only managed five points in the first set but the 31-year-old showed signs of life in the second, claiming two games and amassing 19 points.

There was no stopping Williams, however, as she charged towards an eighth Australian Open title, with either Eugenie Bouchard or Peng Shuai awaiting in the second round.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Williams [16] bt Maria 6-0 6-2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Williams – 22/11
Maria – 7/20

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Williams – 2/0
Maria – 3/7

BREAK POINTS WON
Williams – 5/8
Maria – 0/0

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Williams – 52
Maria – 44

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Williams – 82/88
Maria – 55/32

TOTAL POINTS
Williams – 54
Maria – 24

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