LONDON -- Fifth seed Serena Williams felt right at home on Monday as she powered into the second round at Wimbledon, thrashing Hungary's Rita Kuti Kis 6-1, 6-0.
A semifinalist last year, the 19-year-old American pummeled 32 winners past her shell-shocked opponent in a one-sided contest on sun-baked Court Two.
"It feels great. I was walking out there on the court today and to be on the green lush grass in a white dress -- I felt at home to be here. It felt special," Williams said after she became the first player to win at this year's championships.
"It feels great to play on the grass ... it's a bit quicker so you have to make sure you do all the right things. But I've been practising on it for a few days, at home too."
The 23-year-old Kuti Kis had never won a match on the Wimbledon lawns in two previous visits and Williams was in no mood for charity.
She broke in the second and fourth games of the opening set, streaking to a 5-0 lead before Kuti Kis could register on the scoreboard. Williams emphatically closed out the opener after just 18 minutes, crunching her fifth ace past the left-hander.
She started the second set with a flurry of sizzling backhands and walloped forehands, again breaking in the opening game. Kuti Kis always struggled with the power of Williams's serve and the blonde Hungarian's head soon dropped.
Williams refused to ease up, racing through the second set 6-0 to set up a second round meeting with Germany's Barbara Rittner after just 40 minutes.
Despite the emphatic nature of her victory, Williams admitted her concentration had wavered.
"I'm a kind of insatiable person ... I started thinking of different things and my mind started wandering, but other than that I was pleased," she said.
"I started thinking of what I was going to do at home. I am reading a book about a guy's travels through Egypt and I started thinking about the book ... I shouldn't be thinking about things like that.
"But I just think I played well today ... it's not that she wasn't tough."
Williams, who missed tournaments in Rome and Madrid last month with a knee injury, said she was happy with her fitness.
"I'm not concerned at all that I haven't had match practice. I am definitely there ... definitely in form not only physically but also mentally.
"I am more fit than I was at the French Open, I have been working hard.
"I mean I was fit there but I am more match tough here. I've been doing loads of secret things that I don't want to share.
"I think it is tough to be mentally tough ... I think it is something that is already in you." Williams lost to eventual champion Jennifer Capriati in the French Open quarter-finals.
Williams said she was unworried by the energy-sapping 30-degree heat on court.
"Back home in Florida you step outside and you are just covered in sweat it is so hot and humid, so it was fine for me here," she said.
She gave me quite a scare, and after watching her play, she doesn't seem as hungry as Serena is.
this will be interesting.. <IMG SRC="smilies/lick.gif" border="0">
Jun 27th, 2001, 11:36 PM
Jun 27th, 2001, 11:42 PM
Yeah i guess at this point Serena seems more hungry, but it was the same last year, Serena played the better tennis at the start of the tourney, then Venus took it. Well i don't mind which takes it as long as it's one of them <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0"> Though i do want my all Williams final too <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">
Jun 30th, 2001, 01:42 AM
Jul 1st, 2001, 12:24 AM
Jul 3rd, 2001, 01:58 AM
Jul 4th, 2001, 12:53 AM
Too bad for Serena <IMG SRC="smilies/frown.gif" border="0"> hope she gets better soon!
Congrats to Vee <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">
Jul 6th, 2001, 01:58 AM
Updated! Wooooohoooooo for Vee! Good luck on Saturday! <IMG SRC="smilies/bounce.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/bounce.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/bounce.gif" border="0">