Williams makes winning return in Auckland

Serena Williams was victorious in her first game since the US Open as she eased past France’s Pauline Parmentier at the ASB Classic in Auckland.

Williams missed the final two months of the 2016 season with a shoulder problem but she managed to get the better of Parmentier 6-3, 6-4 despite looking a little rusty at times.

"It's my first match back in several months and I was playing a really good player," the 35-year-old said during her on-court interview.

"I'm feeling like I'm trying to get out there, and that every match counts. I've never played in front of you guys so this is really special for my career. I've never been here, so thanks for making me feel so welcome."

Elsewhere, third seed Caroline Wozniacki also got her season off to a winning start after she beat Naomi Gibbs 6-2 6-0, while fourth seed Barbora Strycova was too good Barbora Stefkova, triumphing 6-4, 6-3.

There were also first-round wins for Naomi Osaka, Jelena Ostapenko, Lauren Davis, Yanina Wickmayer, Madison Brengle and Varvara Lepchenko.