STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Serena Williams looked healthy and played sharp in her first tournament since defaulting during a doubles match with sister Venus at Wimbledon.
The top-ranked player stopped worrying and started having fun again, beating Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 6-2 in a second round match at the Bank of the West Classic on Wednesday night.
At Wimbledon, Williams tried to play through a viral infection that caused her to lose her equilibrium during the doubles match. On Wednesday night, encouraged by a large crowd, Williams fought through a tough first set before she found her legs and took control of the match with a big second set.
"I thought I played well," Williams said. "I'm on the right path, I'm excited and I'm looking forward to my next match."
In the quarterfinals, Williams will meet the winner of Thursday's match between fifth-seeded Ana Ivanovic and qualifier Carol Zhao, a Stanford sophomore playing in her first WTA event.
Williams casually deflected questions about her health, preferring to bring the conversation into the present.
"I'm still taking it a match at a time," she said. "It worked out. I was feeling fine. I made some silly errors early because I was not on my toes enough."
Pliskova managed to hold her serve most of the first set but did not have an answer once Williams found her own serve.
"I knew she's a player that is tough to break so it was important to me to be super focused on my serve," Williams said. "She served well and I tried to hang in there and get some break points."
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