(AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
BEIJING (AP) Serena Williams narrowly avoided a bagel against Spanish qualifier Silvia Soler-Espinosa, then won 13 of the next 15 games to pull out a 7-5, 6-2 victory Monday in the first round of the China Open.
Williams looked lethargic and flat-footed at the start, pushing the ball back without much pace or direction and occasionally shanking groundstrokes several feet out. After only 15 minutes, she had already dropped serve three times and fallen behind 5-0.
Just as quickly as she gave up such a big lead, however, Williams turned it around. In the next game, the 18-time major winner saved a set point and broke Soler-Espinosa to finally get on the board.