Wimbledon 2011: Venus Williams overcomes Amanmuradova

Venus Williams

Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams broke the resistance of Uzbekistan's Akgul Amanmuradova with a 6-3 6-1 first-round win.

Williams, who made her comeback from injury at Eastbourne after almost five months out, was given a more thorough workout than the scoreline suggests.

World number 97 Amanmuradova deployed her drop-shot well, but was eventually overpowered from the baseline.

Williams now meets Kimiko Date-Krumm after she beat Britain's Katie O'Brien.

"It's always great to be back at Wimbledon," said the American. "To play a few matches at Eastbourne helped me to feel comfortable.

"I think coming into any major there is a little bit of tension. I have a lot of expectations to go and play as I do in practice, especially after not playing so much."

Seeded 23rd after playing just six matches in 2011, Williams has made the ladies' final in eight of the past 11 years.

By contrast Amanmuradova was looking to make it through the first round for the first time at SW19.

That gap in experience seemed telling as Williams' serve edged over 110mph en route to four unanswered points in a business-like first game.

But after dragging Williams to the front of the court to secure her first point of the contest, Amanmuradova overcame an erroneous line call to draw level and provided a surprisingly stiff test for the rest of the set.

The 26-year-old took Williams to deuce in the following game as she stuck in rallies long enough to irritate, if not endanger the American.

Williams was forced to retire from her last Grand Slam - January's Australian Open - with a muscle tear to her back and groin and Amanmuradova attempted to prey on any lingering mobility problems.

Although her combination of spin and delicate drop-shots was cracked by Williams as she broke in he fourth game, a searing backhand down the line moved Amanmuradova 15-30 up as her opponent attempted to serve out at 5-3.

However Williams summoned up two big serves to snuff out the danger and sweep up the first set.

The second set proved a more straightforward affair for Williams as breaks in the third, fifth and seventh games set watching father Richard at such ease that he headed out of Court Two to take in action from other matches.

Williams missed much of the second half of 2010 with a knee problem and retired hurt from the third-round clash with Andrea Petkovic in Melbourne in January.

But the 31-year-old is now confident that she is back to full fitness.

"This time I couldn't come back too soon or I would be in same situation as I was at the Australian Open and that was very painful," she added.

"That is not something to go through twice. So I have tried to come back this time when I felt a lot stronger."

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