Tennis

Serena Williams back from Konta thrashing with comfortable win

Serena Williams (USA) returns a shot against Daria Gavrilova (AUS) in the Western and Southern tennis open
Serena Williams (USA) returns a shot against Daria Gavrilova (AUS) in the Western and Southern tennis open Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Serena Williams returned from the worst loss of her career two weeks ago, to thrash Daria Gavrilova 6-1 6-2 in the first round of the Cincinnati Masters.

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The 36-year-old had not played since being beaten 6-1 6-0 by Johanna Konta in only 51-minutes.

Williams' success against the Australian Gavrilova was an 11th straight victory in Cincinnati.

"I a'm feeling pretty good - and it is never easy, no matter what the scoreline says," Williams said.

"I definitely felt relaxed after the first break, but you have got to keep going and try to go in for the whole thing."

Though she has not played the tournament in three years, Williams lifted back-to-back titles in 2014 and 2015 after losing the 2013 final to Victoria Azarenka.

Murray loses to Pouille

Andy Murray's injury comeback meanwhile was sidetracked as the three-time grand slam champion lost 6-1 1-6 6-4 to Frenchman Lucas Pouille.

"Physically, I felt OK. The conditions here are quick," Murray said.

"He was a little bit sharper than me out there - I maybe was not reacting as quickly to some shots I would have liked."

Murray last played 11 days ago in a Washington third-round match which took him three hours to win and ended at three in the morning.

"After Washington, I took four, five days off the tennis court and did a lot of training, a lot of rehab.

"As the year goes on, I will be able to get a little bit more consistency like on the practice court and on the tennis court."

Pouille had lost his previous three matches to Murray, the last in Dubai 12 months ago.

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