Tennis – Serena calms knee fears


World number one and defending champion Serena Williams proved her fitness in a hard-fought first-round win at the Australian Open.

Williams, who took time away from the game after the US Open last year and more recently suffered a problem in her left knee, eventually saw off Camila Giorgi 6-4 7-5 in a match which lasted almost one-and-three-quarter hours.
And Williams, aiming to win her seventh title in Melbourne and her 22nd career Grand Slam singles crown, was pleased with her performance against the hard-hitting Italian.
She told reporters afterwards: “(The knee is) great. It was an hour and 43 minutes and I didn’t feel it at all.”
Williams, who is now 9/4 with Bet365 to win the Australian Open, was joined in round two by Petra Kvitova and Agnieszka Radwanska, but 16th seed Caroline Wozniacki, 17th seed Sara Errani and 24th seed Sloane Stephens all crashed out on an opening day of shocks in Melbourne.