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By Rohit Sharma
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Former World No.1 Serena Williams takes on Frenchwoman Aravane Rezai for a place in the second round of the 2011 Championships at Wimbledon, season's second Grand Slam event being played here at the All England lawn tennis Club in London, England.
Serena Williams had a difficult past year with injuries and serious health issues, taking a lot away from her. The American last shone bright with the Venus Rosewater Dish at SW19 in July 2010 after which an unfortunate accident left her injured for several months, causing her to miss both US and Australian Open. She was later diagnosed with blood clots in lungs that again ended hopes of a spring comeback. On her return, Williams beat 2010 Wimbledon semifinalist Tsvetana Pironkova before going down to World No.3 Vera Zvonareva in a thriller. Williams' key to emerging victorious in 13 Grand Slam events has been her supreme confidence, that has played a pivotal role, particularly in tough matches.
Williams' opponent, Frenchwoman Aravane Rezai shot to super stardom in 2010 when she beat WTA legends Justine Henin and Venus Williams to win the Madrid Open. However, what followed was disappointing, especially due to the high level of expectations set from her. Rezai suffered early round exits from the tournaments that followed and saw her ranking slip to 61 from a career high No.15. Rezai has 4 WTA singles titles to her name and is definitely a tough nut to crack on a given day.
Both players have contested only one match before and Williams won it after going the distance, losing the first set handily before making the ultimate comeback.
Williams undoubtedly is a favourite to win the match. However, with this being only her third match on return from one year injury hiatus, she needs to have a strong opening to get past the Frenchwoman in straight sets.
TennisEarth.com's Pick - Serena Williams in straight sets.
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