Serena returns with a bang

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The Independent Online

Serena Williams celebrated her competitive return with a superb victory in the opening round of the Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open in Cincinnati on Tuesday.

The American, playing her first match in six months, pounded her way to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over the second seed Anastasia Myskina. Williams showed virtually no ring rust, breaking serve twice in each set to make quick work of Myskina, the 2004 French Open champion.

Seven times a Grand Slam winner, Williams was making a comeback after injuring her left knee at the Australian Open in January. The American has missed the entire clay-court and grass-court seasons, including the French Open and Wimbledon, and has dropped from 11th to 140th in the world rankings.

"What I missed most was the competition," Williams said. "I've always said, I love to win whether it's a match or a tournament. I love winning. I think I missed that a lot."

On the men's side, Andy Roddick began his attempt to return to the world's top 10 by crushing Ramon Delgado 6-3, 6-2 to reach the third round of the RCA Championships in Indianapolis on Tuesday night.

Roddick, the winner at Indianapolis in 2003 and 2004, dropped to 11th in the world rankings following his third-round defeat at Wimbledon, the first time he has been out of the top 10 since 2002. But the American, given a bye in the first round, fired eight aces against Delgado to quickly see off the Paraguayan.

The men's and women's singles champions at the US Open this year will pocket at least $1.2m (£675,000). Total prize money has the potential to exceed $21.1m (£11.9m).

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