Top seed Serena Williams kick-started her Auckland Classic singles campaign in style with an easy 6-3 6-2 victory over Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi on Tuesday.
Playing her first singles match since losing last year's U.S. Open final to Bianca Andreescu, the 38-year-old Williams fired eight aces and was hardly troubled by Giorgi.
Williams broke the Italian's serve three times, while remaining unbroken herself in a first round encounter that lasted only 68 minutes.
Giorgi, 28, was no match for Williams' powerful serve as the 23-times Grand Slam winner prevailed in blustery conditions which proved to be her downfall in 2017, stretching her unbeaten run against her Italian opponent to five matches.
"It was really fun to be out here and back again," Williams said in a post-match interview.