Relaxed Venus breezes through in Melbourne
Robert Grant
16:01 AEST Mon Jan 14 2013

Venus Williams on Monday gave a strong hint she is on her way back to full fitness after a long and tiresome recovery from illness and injury.

For much of the past two years, Williams watched her ranking drop as she battled a hip injury and viral illness.

But in her first round of the Australian Open, the American took just one hour to thrash Kazakhstan's world No.80 Galina Voskoboeva 6-1 6-0.

"The stats looked good for me," Williams said. "I haven't seen them all yet, but I got a high first-serve percentage and more winners than errors, so that always makes a good match.

"I don't think my opponent quite got the hang of it - it's hard to play the first match in a major, first thing of the year, and that can be a lot of pressure.

"I did my best to just close it out."

While doubles wins at Wimbledon and the Olympics last year and a title victory in the Luxembourg Open, Williams said the recent Hopman Cup in Perth had been a key part of her Australian Open preparations.

"I haven't played a competitive match in over a week," she said after her win on Monday that sets up a second-round clash with either Alize Cornet or Marina Erakovic.

"I definitely wish it would have been closer, but I got to play matches in Hopman Cup.

"That's great. I played six matches, singles and doubles. That was my first time.

"I thought it was really good, because you get to play a lot. In the regular tournaments if you lose in the first round or something then you're out of luck.

"In the Hopman Cup, even if you lose you still have got some luck left."

Meanwhile, reflecting on her star-studded career, which began tentatively in 1994 as a 14-year-old and got a boost a year later when she reached the quarter-finals of a tournament in Oakland, Williams said she had nothing left to prove.

"My goals in '95, I didn't even know what I was doing. I just thought I had a dream and thought I could do it," she said.

"Now I have done a lot of things and I don't really have anything to prove except for I have my desire to play and to play well.

"That really is what it's about at this point, is getting the best out of me."

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