Williams dominant in Rome

Serena Williams got her clay-court season off to a strong start with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Anna-Lena Friedsam in the second round of the Italian Open on Tuesday.

Having missed the Madrid Open last week due to flu, Williams showed no signs of ill-health as she sent down powerful serves, landed destructive winners and chased down balls aggressively when she was asked to.

Williams broke early in the opening stanza to cruise into  an early lead at 2-1 in the first set and went on to close it out 6-4 in clinical fashion.

She then broke three times in the second set to put the match away after an hour and fifteen minutes.

Having not played a competitive tennis match in a month and a half, Williams look surprisingly sharp as she struck 27 winners and 18 unforced errors.

Speaking after the match, Williams seemed satisfied with her performance.

"I was really happy with my level," Williams said.

"I think I was really consistent. I think I was mentally consistent. I started out fast. Those are some of the things I wanted to work on, I was really happy about that."

Elsewhere in Rome, Carla Suárez Navarro got past Teliana Pereira 6-1, 7-5.

Samantha Stosur rallied past American qualifier Alison Riske 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-1. British prodigy Johanna Konta defeated Swedish qualifier Johanna Larsson 6-1, 6-2.

Eugenie Bouchard triumphed over former world number one Jelena Jankovic 6-4, 2-6, 6-3. Despite losing Jankovic was still able to attract a lot of attention though.

Daria Gavrilova overcame former Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki, 6-1, 7-6(3). And Svetlana Kuznetsova eased into the next round with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Caroline Garcia.