Serena Williams buried the ghosts of her 2012 French Open horror show to storm into the second round Sunday while Roger Federer enjoyed an untroubled start to his 54th consecutive Grand Slam.
The 31-year-old Williams, bidding for a 16th Grand Slam title, suffered her worst defeat at a major in Paris 12 months ago when she was dumped out of the first round by Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano.
But on Sunday, Williams extended her current winning streak to 25, the best of her career, with a 6-0, 6-1 demolition of Georgia’s Anna Tatishvili, the world number 80, who, until reaching the Strasbourg quarter-finals last week, had not won a match on the main tour in 2013.
It took Williams just 51 minutes to complete victory on a chilly Court Philippe Chatrier where the temperature hovered just above the 10-degree mark, firing 27 aces to her opponent’s four. “I have been playing really well for the last three months,” said the American.
She next faces France’s Caroline Garcia who, as a raw 17-year-old, was a set up and 4-1 to the good against Maria Sharapova in 2011 before slipping to defeat.
Federer, the 2009 champion and hunting an 18th major, saw off Spanish qualifier Pablo Carreno-Busta, the world number 166, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.
The 21-year-old Spaniard had started the year at 654, an ascent boosted by winning seven Futures events and an astonishing record of 53 wins in 57 matches on the circuit’s third tier. But Federer, playing in his 15th Roland Garros, was too strong for the debutant, building the foundation for victory with a break in the opening game of all three sets.
India’s lone singles hope Somdev Devvarman, making his third appearance on the clay courts, advanced to the second round with a 6-3, 6-3, 7-5 win over Spain’s Daniel Munoz. Devvarman, who will be playing the second round for the first time in Paris, will face Federer next. The 28-year-old had made the main draw after sailing through the qualifiers.
Lleyton Hewitt, a former world number, put in a trademark performance before losing 3-6, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-5 to French 15th seed Gilles Simon.