Serena Williams' inspiring words after Wimbledon first-round singles matches win

Serena Williams practicing on court during training for the Wimbledon Championships

Serena Williams practicing on court during training for the Wimbledon Championships

The American returns to the tournament for the first time since claiming a seventh title in 2016 having missed a year ago to give birth to her daughter.

Although Williams did not comment on her legwear, it could very well have served a goal.

Monday's other Centre Court matches see Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki face Varvara Lepchenko of the United States while Bulgarian sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov, a semi-finalist in 2014, faces three-time major victor Stan Wawrinka.

Also getting their campaigns under way on Monday are five-time women's champion Venus Williams against Johanna Larsson.

It was not to be, though, as Williams reeled off five games in a row with a series of punishing groundstrokes, with another Rus error allowing her esteemed opponent to serve for the match.

The third-seeded Croatian hit 21 aces and a total of 44 winners - compared to one ace and six winners for Nishioka - to complete victory in 1 hour, 46 minutes.

The seven-times champion, who missed last year's tournament while pregnant with her daughter Alexis Olympia, is considered by many as the woman to beat at these championships despite her lowly ranking of 181.

"The tougher balance, for me, is to be able to spend time away from my son and be OK with taking, sometimes, time for myself, which is a struggle sometimes because I really want to spend every second with him, " said Azarenka, who faces No. 7 seed Karolina Pliskova next.

Elsewhere, Sam Querrey, the American 11th seed who made the semi-finals previous year, saw off Australia's Jordan Thompson 6-2, 6-4, 6-3.

But at the same tournament where he played what proved to be his last match of 2017, the 33-year-old was rejuvenated.

Her first was at the French Open last month, where Williams had to pull out ahead of the fourth round with an arm injury, having suffered it as a result of playing singles and doubles in Paris.

"Serving good", Rus observed. She got upset by a line judge's mistaken call that led to the replay of a point she should have won but instead lost.

Stephens (4) suffered a second first-round grand-slam exit since winning her first major at last year's US Open as she was beaten 6-1 6-3 by Donna Vekic.

Williams came back to hold there and wouldn't drop another game the rest of the way, dealing better with the wind that whipped this way and that at No. 1 Court and marking terrific passing shots with those customary cries of "Come on!"

She is back at Wimbledon for the first time as a mom, but Serena Williams was in no mood for nurturing as she blasted her way into the second round.

Wimbledon prize money: How much can players earn in 2018?

In fact, I feel like it's stronger, because I've been through so much. "It will be impossible for me not to feel some kind of way about that".

"I think probably it would be helpful a few more years for the boys to really remember".

But it was her legwear that drew the most attention. We literally do everything.

"Not only do I expect to win, I expect to win emphatically".

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