Istanbul, Turkey (4E Sports) – Top seed Serena Williams opened her WTA Championships-Istanbul in style, beating eighth seed Angelique Kerber, 6-3, 6-1, in just 64 minutes Tuesday.
Williams fired 31 winners to just 11 unforced errors , finishing the match with a backhand down the line into the open court. She lost just 11 points in eight service games and was an impeccable 14 for 14 at the net.
“Let’s be honest, most of those net points were overheads or swing volleys – I remember hitting one or two volleys, that’s it!” Williams said. “I love coming to net but I love the baseline, that’s my thing.”
Williams plays her second match on Wednesday night against third seed Agnieszka Radwanska.
Meanwhile, second seed Victoria Azarenka survived a tough challenge from Sara Errani en route to a 7-6 (4), 6-2 win.
Errani built a 5-2 lead in the first set but Azarenka clawed her way back and eventually snatched the first set after a one-hour, 28-minute battle.
Azarenka then took over in the second, blasting 20 winners to just two unforced errors, to close out the sixth seed Errani.
In Switzerland, Stanislas Wawrinka missed the chance to strengthen his position in the ATP Race To London after losing to Edouard Roger-Vasselin, 6-4, 6-3, in the first round of the Swiss Indoors Basel.
Wawrinka slipped to eighth in the standings when he was overtaken by Roger Federer, following his countryman’s first-round win on Monday. Ninth-placed Gasquet is just 30 points behind Wawrinka and opens his Basel campaign Wednesday against Michael Llodra.
Other winners were Marcos Baghdatis, Kei Nishikori, Daniel Brands, Denis Istomin and
In Spain, fifth seed Jerzy Janowicz battled through to the Valencia Open 500 second round with a 7-5, 7-6(7) victory over Pablo Carreno Busta.
Janowicz will take on Joao Sousa, who defeated Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 7-5. Sousa recently won his first ATP World Tour title at the Malaysian Open.
In other matches, Alejandro Falla stunned sixth seed Gilles Simon, 6-1, 6-0; Nicolas Almagro beat Pablo Andujar, 6-2, 6-3; Michal Przysiezny upset Fernando Verdasco, 6-3, 7-6(1); and
Julien Benneteau downed Feliciano Lopez, 6-3, 6-1.