Serena Williams battles into Wimbledon second round

Virginia Santiago
July 6, 2018

But Serena has a problem, a odd distaste for an unglamorous part of her job: drug-testing.

She went weeks without practicing her serve because of an injury.

But the American is determined not to dwell on the setback, even if she concedes the pressure will be on at Flushing Meadows. He is the first man in the Open era to play in the grass-court Grand Slam for a 20th straight year.

Venus Williams, a five-time champion and runner-up a year ago, made the next round with a 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 6-1 win against Johanna Larsson of Sweden. She returned at the French Open in May, and won three matches there before withdrawing with an injured pectoral muscle.

"Not only do I expect to win, " she said, "I expect to win emphatically".

"I think probably it would be helpful a few more years for the boys to really remember".

I've never seen her play like that, but that's the game. "I'm definitely finding my bearings out there". I thought: 'Hey, I have this unbelievable child. This is all super-bonus.' And it is.

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"Equality, that's all I've been preaching. That's all I care about, '" she added.

"There isn't too much I can do - I'm not going to go and cry".

But everything else was familiar for the Swiss star who cruised past world number 57 Lajovic in just 79 minutes.

Her sister, five-time Wimbledon champion and 2017 finalist Venus, had far more trouble across the grounds at No. 2 Court, slipping to the turf a couple of times and barely moving on with a 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-1 win against Johanna Larsson of Sweden, who dropped to 0-8 at the All England Club.

Sunday brought the withdrawal of two-time Wimbledon titlist Andy Murray, who had hip surgery in January.

The world No.2 is enjoying a renaissance as he chases a 21st grand slam title and a record-extending ninth Wimbledon, 15 years after his first.

"Right now I think Eastbourne [has boosted my confidence]".

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"I was like 'I haven't seen Olympia, what am I doing?'". It's a different life.

Vekic, who sealed the upset on her fourth match point, faces Slovakia's Viktoria Kuzmova or Sweden's Rebecca Peterson in the second round.

Royalty at Wimbledon is not something new and Serena Williams hopes she can do enough to tempt Meghan Markle to Centre Court. That success rate surely was a consideration when the All England Club opted to elevate her from a ranking of 183rd to a seeding of 25th.

"They know that there is a trophy involved at some point if I do play well, because they get most excited about the trophies". "I came in here expecting that maybe I wouldn't get a seed".

"Gosh, yeah. So I don't know".

Drug testers can make unannounced visits outside of that one-hour window, but if the athlete is not available they will not receive a "missed test" designation. He wore a Uniqlo outfit for the first time after ending his career-long apparel partnership with Nike. "It's really just about learning that balance for me still". I didn't serve at all. Still, I'm debating if I should go 120 (mph) or whatever. "If I can do it, so can you".

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