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Saturday 10 December 2016

Serena Williams off to a winning start at Wimbledon

Serena Williams celebrates against Margarita Gasparyan in the the First round women's singles during day one of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon
Serena Williams celebrates against Margarita Gasparyan in the the First round women's singles during day one of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon

Serena Williams preserved her perfect first-round record at Wimbledon but it was hard work at times for the American as she took another step towards the Grand Slam.

Twenty-year-old Margarita Gasparyan, a Russian making her Wimbledon debut, broke serve at the first opportunity and led 3-1 in the opening set.

Yet back came Williams and in the end ran out a 6-4 6-1 winner, a scoreline that reflected her dominance once she found her footing. It was her 17th first-round singles win at Wimbledon, with her record showing no losses at this stage.

A fall in the sixth game, and a code violation warning for an audible obscenity, might have put off a lesser player, but Williams put both behind her to recover the early break, and Gasparyan could not sustain a challenge after that point.

Williams is targeting the calendar Grand Slam of winning all four majors in the same year, a feat last achieved by Steffi Graf in 1988. She already holds the US Open, from last year, plus the Australian Open and French Open titles, so is a Wimbledon triumph away from the second non-calendar 'Serena Slam' of her illustrious career.

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