BRISBANE, Australia (AP) -- Serena Williams' first competitive match of the season, on New Year's Eve, was by no means perfect, but a 6-4, 6-4 win over Andrea Petkovic at the Brisbane International was a decent start against a player with a career-high ranking of No. 9.
Top-ranked Williams was understandably below her best after the offseason. She did a quick little dance behind the baseline in the first set to remind herself to move her feet, and after a complete air swing at the net in the second set, she smiled ruefully and drew in some long, deep breaths.
She also netted a service return on her first match point, but still did enough to progress.
Top-ranked Williams started 2013 in Brisbane with a title, the first of 11 for the year that included two major championships. She's back with the aim of carrying the momentum into 2014. She's already into the quarterfinals.