World No. 1 Serena Williams opened defense of her Family Circle Cup title with a straight-set win today on Billie Jean King Court.
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Coming off a victory in the finals at the Sony Open on hardcourts in Miami on Saturday, Williams was not at her sharpest in her first match of the year on clay. But she was plenty good enough for a 6-2, 6-3 win over Italian Camila Giorgi in a second-round match.
“It was a bit awkward for me today,” said Williams, a two-time FCC winner who could face 2009 champ Sabine Lisicki in the third round. “But it was good to get one under my belt.”
Jelena Jankovic needed almost three hours today to outlast American Melanie Oudin and keep alive her hopes for a second Family Circle Cup title.
Jankovic, ranked No. 18, gutted out a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 victory over the 21-year-old Oudin. Jankovic, seeded ninth, won the Family Circle Cup title in 2007, but had been 0-2 in her career against Oudin.
Rising American star Madison Keys, 18, moved to the second round with a 7-6, 6-4 win over Alexandra Cadantu.
American qualifier Vania King pulled off a first-round upset knocking off 14th-seeded Yaroslava Shvedova. King, ranked No. 136, rallied for a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 win over the world’s No. 37 player.
Earlier, 15th-seeded Sabine Lisicki got her chase for a second Family Circle Cup championship off to a fast start, sprinting to a first-round victory over Anna Tatishvili in just 41 minutes.
The 2009 Family Circle Cup champ won by 6-0, 6-0, on Billie Jean King Court, belting 26 winners to earn a second-round match with American qualifier Mallory Burdette.
Sabine Lisicki d. Anna Tatishvili, 6-0, 6-0
Marina Erakovic d. Daniela Hantuchova, 7-6, 6-4
Vania King d. Yaroslava Shvedova, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
Jelena Jankovic d. Melanie Oudin, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4
Madison Keys d. Alexandra Cadantu, 7-6, 6-4
Julia Goerges d. Yulia Putintseva, 6-2, 6-3
Romina Oprandi d. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
Laura Robson d. Estrella Cabeza Candela, 6-2, 6-2
Serena Williams d. Camila Giorgi, 6-2, 6-3
Stefanie Voegele d. Carla Suarez Navarro, 6-2, 6-4
Sorana Cirstea d. Anabel Medina Garrigues, walkover
Jessica Pegula d. Mona Barthel, 7-6-61
Vavara Lepchenko d. Mathilde Johansson, 6-4, 1-6, 6-1.