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Mom Serena prevails

I try to tell her I’m someone, you know.

Agence France-Presse



Serena Williams started her Australian Open quest with a bang in defeating Russian teenager Anastasia Potapova (AFP Photo)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AFP) — Serena Williams blitzed the first set in just 19 minutes as she launched her quest for a 24th Grand Slam title with a quickfire demolition of Anastasia Potapova at the Australian Open on Monday.

The 38-year-old American, wearing a lilac dress and matching trainers, and sporting heavily decorated fingernails, powered past the Russian teenager 6-0, 6-3 in 58 minutes.

The eighth seed plays Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia in round two in an expectant Melbourne, where she can equal the all-time record of Grand Slam titles.

Williams comes into Melbourne in ominous form after breaking her three-year title drought with victory in Auckland — her first since becoming a mother to two-year-old daughter Olympia.

Olympia watched her mother win the title last week, and Williams said after easing to victory over Potapova: “It (Auckland) was really special for me and her (Olympia) — I hope for her.”

But the American legend, speaking to an adoring crowd at the 15,000-capacity Rod Laver Arena, admitted that Olympia “just cares about Play-Doh”.

“I try to tell her I’m someone, you know,” she joked.

“(But) I am just known about town as Olympia’s mom — I love that.”

Williams threatened to blow away the 18-year-old Potapova — who was temperamental at times — in embarrassingly rapid fashion.

But the 90th-ranked Russian, overawed in the first set, fought back and broke Williams’s serve in the second, helped by some sloppiness from the American.

Williams double-faulted to go down a surprise 2-1, but there was never a hint of an upset as the American broke back before pulling away to an easy win.

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