Serena Williams' inspiring words after Wimbledon first-round singles matches win

Following Monday's match, Williams told the BBC she was "more relieved" to have won, admitting that Rus, her opponent, had put up a good fight.

Opening the 2018 Wimbledon Championships on Centre Court, men's top seed and defending champion Roger Federer wasted little energy in dispatching Serbian Dusan Lajovic 6-1 6-3 6-4 in 79 minutes. I clearly didn't think about it.

Sloane Stephens of the U.S. sits in her chair after losing a set to Donna Vekic of Croatia during the Womens Singles first round match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Monday.

Also getting their campaigns under way on Monday are five-time women's champion Venus Williams against Johanna Larsson.

Williams came back from a set down to win 6-7 (3/7) 6-2 6-1.

"Not only do I expect to win, I expect to win emphatically". She returned at the French Open in May, and won three matches there before withdrawing with an injured pectoral muscle.

In other words, Williams was in the mood to gab Sunday at a pre-tournament news conference postponed a day so she could accompany her recently married royal friend, the former Meghan Markle, to watch Prince Harry play polo.

The American returns to the tournament for the first time since claiming a seventh title in 2016 having missed past year to give birth to her daughter.

There was something old, something new and something blue on show on Monday as Serena Williams swapped the skin-tight catsuit that caused a stir in Paris for a more conservative look on her return to Wimbledon for the first time since becoming a mum.

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Sloane Stephens fared less well as the French Open finalist became an early casualty, while Victoria Azarenka came away with a sore knee after a nasty slip in her win against Ekaterina Alexandrova. "As long as he's here, I'm going to try to be here".

"I'm just playing until Roger stops".

Williams is bidding to equal Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slams at the end of the fortnight, nine months after giving birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian. "I nearly want to feel the need to go out there and be the best that I can be".

The 36-year-old will next take on the victor of Tereza Smitkova's clash with Viktoriya Tomova in the second round.

Rus rolled her eyes at that notion after the match, saying: "I mean, she doesn't start a tournament if she's not prepared".

Caroline Wozniacki safely navigated her way past Varvara Lepchenko, winning 6-0 6-3, just 48 hours after claiming the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne.

Karolina Pliskova also had a battle on her hands to get past British hopeful Harriet Dart in three sets.

She took the first set with a well-timed break at 6-5, with Rus serving to take it to a tie-break. He wore a Uniqlo outfit for the first time after ending his career-long apparel partnership with Nike. I do know Wimbledon tends to kind of beat to their own drum. She slid feet-first into the net and stayed down for a bit before being checked on, but she continued to play.

Magdalena Rybarikova was the first seed to lose on day one, the 19th ranked player beaten 7-5 6-3 by Sorana Cirstea, while 22nd seed Anastasija Sevastova was ousted 6-1 2-6 6-4 by Camila Giorgi.

  • Lawrence Cooper