Actually, the tougher match that she had was against Camilie "Ace" Pin.
Serena went through a very difficult first round in 2003 which she was expected to win going away, but just scraped through in three sets.
The Camilie Pin match is irrelevant in this "discussion". Maria should have won easily! Weak draws often lead to failure is the issue.
The REALLY SAD THING is that most of the responses to this thread seem to not mind that FIVE of the top SIX contenders for this tourney are placed in one half of the draw.
This is totally irresponsible on the part of tournamant organizers. I do not know how to fix this, but the organizers should want the top contenders to have a CHANCE of competing in the quarters, semis and finals. Please fix the draw procedure to make this happen.
Or... do you want Maria, Jelena, Serena, Venus, and other top players to just play each other in the early rounds, where some have to lose and not play in the later rounds where they should be.
It should be that of the top six contenders there should be at least three on each side. I realize that with Serena's and Venus' lower ranking by the "official" system causes problems, but something needs to be done, similar to what Wimbledon does. History is important.