World number one Serena Williams faced little trouble in her Wimbledon opener as she cruised past Amra Sadikovic 6-2, 6-4 on Tuesday.
The reigning champion did not feature in any of the grass court events leading up to the year’s third grand slam, but looked at ease as she got her campaign underway.
Even though Sadikovic retired from tennis two years ago and only rediscovered her love for the sport through coaching, Williams insisted that it would have been wrong to underestimate her opponent.
“I felt I was where I needed to be,” Williams told reporters. “I needed to be pumped for the match. I needed to be intense. I needed to show a lot and feel a lot on the court. That’s typically how I play. I needed to do that.
“I never underestimate anyone. I don’t think it was tougher than I thought. It was definitely tough. She plays an old school grass court game. I knew that going in. So when you’re prepared, it’s always a lot easier than not knowing. It was a good start for me. I felt like it was a solid start to go in the right direction.”
Williams only needs to win one more grand slam to draw level with Steffi Graf’s tally of 22 grand slam titles, but she has been unable to accomplish the feat thus far as she lost in the final at the Australian Open and Roland Garros. As a result, the 34-year-old admitted that her mental strength has plummeted.
“Mentally I’ve been further down than anyone can be,” she said. “Well, maybe not anyone, but I’ve been pretty low. There’s nothing that’s not mentally too hard for me. I think more or less about winning Australia, I think about winning the French Open. Didn’t happen. I think about winning Wimbledon. I don’t necessarily think about winning 22.”