An aggressive Serena Williams on Monday started her quest for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title by thrashing Laura Siegemund on day one of the Australian Open.
Williams, seeded 10th in her 20th Australian Open, needs one more major to equal Margaret Court’s record Grand Slam tally.
The 39-year-old, playing an unparallelled 100th match at the tournament, looked sharp and smashed 16 winners in the 6-1, 6-1 romp in 56 minutes.
The American said: “This was a good start, it was vintage Serena.”
Williams, the seven-time Australian Open champion, will play Serbia’s Nina Stojanovic in the second round.
World No.3 Naomi Osaka also got her campaign off in style Monday with an easy 6-1, 6-2 straight-sets victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, while three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber crashed out with a heavy 6-0, 6-4 defeat to Bernarda Pera in the first upset of the tournament.
In the men’s draw, Novak Djokovic cruised into the next round with a 6-3, 6-1, 6-2 win over Frenchman Jeremy Chardy as he started his campaign for a ninth title in Melbourne.
Aussie badboy Nick Krygios powered his way past Frederico Silva of Portugal 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 with a display of top-quality serving.
And there were easy wins for seeds Stan Wawrinka, Dominic Thiem, Gregor Dimitrov and Alexander Zverev, while Kei Nishikori crashed out in straight sets.
Rafa Nadal, who has been troubled by a bad back, was set to start his campaign on Monday night.