Serena begins Australian campaign in style

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Melbourne (Australia) Jan 14: Serena Williams began Australian Open campaign in style by thrashing Australia's Gajdosova 6-3 6-3 in the opening game.

The 20-year-old from Sydney gave it her best shot and did manage to ace the eight-time Grand Slam champion three times but then let herself down with seven double faults. Though Williams looked a little sluggish early in the mathch she managed to win the first set in 34 minutes. She wrapped up the match in just 62 minutes to meet one of two qualifiers (Yuan Men of China or Ekkaterina Ivanova of Russia) in the second round. It was Gajdosova's third first round exit from the Australian Open, but the previous two have been for Sloavkia.

The Coogee beach resident has now lived in Australia four years and is in the process of having the International Tennis Federation (ITF) recognise her new country so she can play Fed Cup for Australia.

She has reached as high as No.64 in WTA singles rankings but currently sits at No.145 after a string of injuries clipped six months off her season last year.

Third seed Jelena Jankovic survived a major scare, saving three match points before overcoming Austrian Tamira Paszek 2-6, 6-2, 12-10.

The highly-fancied Serb, who enjoyed a rapid rise through the women's rankings in 2007, had trouble adjusting to the conditions and the ferocity of her 17-year-old opponent.

She eventually won after a marathon three hours and nine minutes and a monumental third set battle where neither player could hold their serve or find the killer instinct.

Jankovic's game was riddled with mistakes in the first two sets and finished with 66 unforced errors in the match.

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