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Monday, January 18, 2010
Updated: January 19, 2:24 PM ET
Serena Williams wins in straight sets

ESPN.com news services

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Serena Williams was more subdued in her first Grand Slam match since her outburst at the U.S. Open.

Top-ranked Williams started the defense of her Australian Open title with a 6-2, 6-1 win Tuesday against 18-year-old Polish player Urszula Radwanska.

Her sister, sixth-seeded Venus, also advanced easily, beating Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-2.

Serena's victory was more like her previous match at Melbourne Park -- a 6-0, 6-3 win over now No. 2-ranked Dinara Safina in last year's final -- than her last in a major: her loss to Kim Clijsters in the semifinals at Flushing Meadows.

Serena Williams
Serena Williams lost just three games in her first title defense at the Australian Open.

Her profanity-laced tirade against a line judge who called her for a foot fault cost Williams that match, a record fine of $82,500 and a suspended ban which means she'll miss a U.S. Open if she has another such outburst at any Grand Slam event in the next two years.

Williams has written about the fine being unfair, saying it wouldn't have been applied to a man in the same situation. But she has accepted it, set up a charity to raise an amount equal to the fines she received, and moved on.

"I always said what I did wasn't right, but I turned that around and I'm actually raising $92,000 to educate ladies, women, also for my school in Africa ... also I'm giving some money to Haiti," she said. "I don't know whoever got fined like that. People said worse, done worse. I just thought it was a bit much."

As for the suspended ban?

"No, that hasn't crossed my mind at all as if I yell too much, it would be a problem," she said. "I feel like I can always be myself.

"You know, I just do the best that I can. I'll say, 'C'mon.' I'll get frustrated. I'll still be human. I'll still make mistakes. I'll still learn from them."

The 28-year-old American hurt her left knee at the Sydney International last Friday night and later said she has been bothered by a foot problem.

Williams' win in 73 minutes contrasted with what the WTA Tour said was a record for the longest women's match at a major in the Open era. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic needed 4 hours, 19 minutes to beat Russia's Regina Kulikova 7-6 (5), 6-7 (10), 6-3.

Williams played with her right thigh heavily wrapped with a white bandage Tuesday, but said it was more for a precaution against injury than anything else. It didn't seem to restrict her movement.

Williams broke Radwanska in the opening game to set the tone. Even serving for the set at 5-1 and 40-0, she huffed when her forehand landed too long. Next point, she clinched the set with an ace.

Radwanska saved three match points before dumping a backhand into the net.

Williams had the vocal backing of the crowd in Melbourne, where she has won the title every odd-numbered year since 2003.

Ana Ivanovic, who reached the Australian Open final and won the French Open in 2008, opened with a 6-2, 6-3 win over American Shenay Perry in the first match to finish Tuesday.

Ivanovic, who has become a crowd favorite Down Under since she began dating Australian professional golfer Adam Scott, saved four break points in the final game before holding serve to take the match in cool, overcast conditions.

"I was pleased with the way I played. The conditions were very tough. It was very cold and windy," Ivanovic said. "But I just tried to work my way through, just taking time, try to stay composed. I thought I played well and served good."

The rain that allowed only 26 of the scheduled 64 matches to be completed on the opening day had held off early on Day 2.

Elsewhere, No. 8 Jelena Jankovic, No. 11 Marion Bartoli, No. 13 Sam Stosur and No. 19 Nadia Petrova advanced along with No. 26 Aravane Rezai, who lost to Serena Williams in the Sydney International semifinals last week, but beat India's Sania Mirza 6-4, 6-2.

Melanie Oudin, the 18-year-old American who made a surprising run to last year's U.S. Open quarterfinals, also went out in the first round, beaten 2-6, 7-5, 7-5 by Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia. Oudin has won just one WTA Tour match since the U.S. Open.

No. 18 Virginie Razzano lost 6-2, 6-3 to Russia's Ekaterina Makarova and American Vania King ousted No. 23 Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-3, 6-7 (5), 7-5.

Justine Henin made her comeback to Grand Slam tennis on Monday night with a 6-4, 6-3 win over fellow Belgian Kirsten Flipkens in her first match at a major since she lost to eventual champion Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals of the 2008 Australian Open.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.