Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Serena Williams Wins Opening Match at Wimbledon!

Serena Williams of the US reacts after defeating France's Aravane Rezai in their first round match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, Tuesday, June 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

 Serena Williams, 13-times grand slam winner, suffered potentially fatal blood clots in a lung earlier this year, only returning to action last week after nearly a year on the sidelines due to a combination of health issues and injuries.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/tennis/healthy_serena_set_to_defend_crown_TtRveVcax2u0b9I1mVZR7J#ixzz1PwDVAMrg

Returning to Grand Slam tennis after a year out with health problems, Serena Williams opened her Wimbledon title defense Tuesday by beating Aravane Rezai in three sets -- then burst into tears on Centre Court.

After serving her 13th ace to close a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory, Williams buried her face in her towel and sobbed from her courtside chair. She was still crying as she left the court, overcome with emotion after enduring a long layoff that included two foot operations and treatment for blood clots in her lungs.

"I usually don't cry ... but it's just been so hard," the four-time Wimbledon champion said. "I never dreamt I would be here right now. And then to win. I just wanted to win at least one match here."

Williams fought through a midmatch slump, then reasserted command over her French opponent in the third set with a big serve and powerful groundstrokes. She showed why she is still considered a title favorite despite her long absence and her No. 7 seeding.

"It's been a disaster year, but I've been praying," Williams said. "To be able to come back at Wimbledon is pretty awesome. I didn't expect to play. And I didn't expect to even do anything. So I'm just excited. I've never cried with joy for anything."

After losing the second set, Williams took charge in the final set, winning the last five games.
"I kept thinking, 'This is Wimbledon,'" she said.

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