Serena Williams' first match since the Australian Open went well on Friday night, as the world's No. 1 defeated Laura Siegemund 6-2, 6-1 in the second round of the BNP Paridas Open at Indian Wells.
Williams returned to the court for the first time since losing to Angelique Kerber in three sets in the finals of the first Grand Slam of the year, missing an opportunity at winning her 22nd career major championship.
The WTA tweeted this after the match ended:
The 21-time singles Grand Slam winner got off to a strong start in the first set, winning 73 percent of total service points while Siegemund recorded three double-faults. That final double-fault would be the exclamation point on an easy first set for Williams, per the WTA:
Much as she did in the first set, Williams breezed through Siegemund with no difficulty. Williams recorded three aces while Siegemund committed three more double-faults, as the world's top-ranked women's tennis player ended in one hour, three minutes and five seconds.
Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times chimed in on Williams getting back on track in an emphatic way:
Serena Williams shakes off cobwebs with an emphatic 6-2, 6-1 win over Siegemund to start her Indian Wells campaign. Faces Putintseva next.— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) March 12, 2016
Live Tennis provided some of the final images of Williams' victory, along with the two meeting at the net:
Williams will next take on Yulia Putintseva, who also earned a straight-set victory in Round 2 over Kristina Mladenovic (6-4, 6-4). Williams came into this match with Siegemund after a first-round bye, and that rest proved to be critical in this matchup. After winning in straight sets in just over an hour, Williams earned some extra rest heading into Round 3.
Stats and time courtesy of BNPParibasOpen.com.
Indian Wells is normally a place full of bad memories for both Serena and Venus Williams. In 2001, the Williams family was booed at Indian Wells and did not return to the court until last year, per the Associated Press (via USA Today).
Serena said coming back with Venus was a way to close that chapter on their lives.
"When I come here, even to this day it's not about winning," Serena said, per Jim Caple of ESPN.com. "It's just about closing that chapter in my life and her life and our lives and try to move on with our heads up."
The crowd seemed very receptive to Serena in her post-match interview, via the WTA: