Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Serena Opens with Victory in Straight Sets; with Reality-Show Cameras Rolling, Williams Uses Power and Mobility to Subdue Randriantefy

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Serena Opens with Victory in Straight Sets; with Reality-Show Cameras Rolling, Williams Uses Power and Mobility to Subdue Randriantefy

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID JOHNSON, The Times-Union

Take 1 of the Serena and Venus reality show was a hit.

But there were a few bloopers.

Serena Williams defeated Dally Randriantefy 6-3, 6-1 on Wednesday night in her first match at this year's Bausch & Lomb Championships.

Venus watched her sister from the stands with their father and coach, Richard Williams. The cameras watched all three, trying to catch family reactions in their first shoot for the six-episode untitled reality show, set to air on ABC Family in July.

"Today's the first day [of shooting], but it's OK," Serena said. "I don't know, it's normal to me, because all my life there's been [media] asking me questions and wanting to know all these different details."

Ignoring the added attention, Randriantefy held her own and her serve in the first couple of games. She used a few well-timed drop shots and a strong backhand to stay even at 2-2 through four games.

But Serena eventually wised up to Randriantefy's tactics and used her power game and mobility to the net to finish her.

Fitting for an opening-night show, Williams took four bows after the match, one to each side of the court. Her performance might not win an Emmy, but it will get her to the third round, where she'll face Mary Pierce today.

"I know Mary is definitely no pushover, especially against big players," Williams said.

It was also Williams' first match of the season on clay.

"You definitely have to change your mind-set when it comes to clay, because if you hit really hard, I've learned the hard way unfortunately, that that doesn't work," she said. "You'll go home early. So I've learned that maybe you should lift the ball more and try to get a lot of balls in play, instead of going for so many winners."

After Williams took a 5-2 lead in the first set, her father sent in a new racket. …

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