Serena Williams tumbled to the court and needed a medical timeout in the first set for treatment on her right ankle. Once she got up, it was all over for Edina Gallovits-Hall.
Williams routed Gallovits-Hall 6-0, 6-0 in the first round of the Australian Open on Tuesday despite the scary sequence in the first part of the match.
Williams was leading 4-0 after 19 minutes when she fell awkwardly chasing a ball wide on her forehand side, putting both hands over her face.
She rolled from her back to her hands and knees, where she stayed for several minutes before she was helped to her feet. The 15-time major winner started limping before easing into a walking stride as she made her way to her courtside chair to have her already heavily taped ankle treated and then re-taped.
“Oh, I’ll be out there,” she said. “I mean, unless something fatal happens to me, there’s no way I’m not going to be competing. I’m alive. My heart’s beating. I’ll be fine.” “I’ve played this tournament with so many injuries and was able to come off pretty on top,” she said. “So for me it’s just another page and a great story to tell the grandkids one day.”
Murray, Federer cruise
Andy Murray won his first match as a Grand Slam champion, beating Robin Haase of the Netherlands in straight sets, and No. 2 Roger Federer fended off Benoit Paire of France 6-2, 6-4, 6-1.
Murray beat Haase 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 in the opening round and was asked what it felt like to play after his triumph at the US Open, where he became the first British man since 1936 to win a major title.
“I can try and focus on the second part of my career now,” he said.
“It was a good start, nice to win in straight sets,” he said. “It was the hottest day we’ve had for a while so the court was playing much quicker.”
Federer dictated the match, sending his 23-year-old French opponent chasing balls around Centre Court.
Down 3-0 in the third set, Paire tumbled and skidded into the net as he tried and failed to reach a shot.
Federer, 31, is bidding for his fifth Australian Open title.
Also advancing were No. 6 Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, 2008 Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 12 Marin Cilic, No. 13 Milos Raonic of Canada, who beat Jan Hajek 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (0), No. 17 . Philipp Kohlschreiber, No. 21 Andreas Seppi and No. 25 Florian Mayer.
Local hope Bernard Tomic, who beat Djokovic at the Hopman Cup two weeks ago, defeated Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 in a night match.
Frenchman Gael Monfils beat No. 18 Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine 6-7 (7), 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-3, and Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen ousted No. 19 Tommy Haas 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-3, 4-6, 8-6.
Date-Krumm shocks Petrova
In a record for the Australian Open, 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm upset Nadia Petrova 6-2, 6-0 to become the oldest woman to win a singles match at the tournament.
Defending champion Victoria Azarenka also advanced, coming back from a break down in the second set to beat Monica Niculescu 6-1, 6-4 at Rod Laver Arena.
In other women’s matches, former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki won the last six games to beat Sabine Lisicki of Germany 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 to advance along with No. 16 Roberta Vinci, No. 17 Lucie Safarova and No. 29 Sloane Stephens, the American teenager who beat Simona Halep of Romania 6-1, 6-1.
No. 20 Yanina Wickmayer beat local hope Jarmila Gajdosova 6-1, 7-5 in the last of the night matches.
Former French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova continued her comeback from a knee injury that kept her out of the U.S. Open, ending her run of 40 consecutive majors. Also, No. 14 Maria Kirilenko had a 6-4, 6-2 win over American Vania King, and China’s Peng Shuai beat Canada’s Rebecca Marino 6-3, 6-0.
Two seeded players lost in the evening session. American Julie Hampton beat No. 31 Urszula Radwanska of Poland 6-2, 6-4 while Ukrainian qualifier Lesia Tsurenko defeated No. 24 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 7-5, 3-6, 7-5.
Before a ball was hit on Tuesday, players and officials were shocked to hear of the serious illness and pending resignation of ATP World Tour executive chairman and president Brad Drewett. The ATP said in a statement that Drewett, a former player, has motor neurone disease, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, but will continue in his role on an interim basis until a successor is found “in the near future.”