MELBOURNE, Australia Serena Williams tumbled to the court and needed a medical timeout while leading 4-0 in the first set for treatment on her right ankle. Once she got up, it was all over for Edina Gallovits-Hall.
Williams routed the Romanian 6-0, 6-0 today in the first round of the Australian Open.
The third-ranked Williams is favored to win the season's first major with 35 wins in her previous 36 matches, including titles at Wimbledon, the London Olympics and the U.S. Open. But the injury could be a significant setback.
Williams said there was pain and swelling in her ankle and X-rays were an option, but she wanted to leave any decisions about treatment for a few hours. She gets a day off before her second-round match.
"Oh, I'll be out there," she said. "I mean, unless something fatal happens to me, there's no way I'm not going to be competing. I'm alive. My heart's beating. I'll be fine."
Williams said she has overcome plenty of injuries in previous trips to the Australian Open, where she has won five titles.
"I've played this tournament with so many injuries and was able to come off pretty on top," she said. "So for me it's just another page and a great story to tell the grandkids one day."
Defending champion Victoria Azarenka also advanced, coming back from a break down in the second set to beat Monica Niculescu of Romania 6-1, 6-4.
Japan's Kimiko Date-Krumm , 42, became the oldest woman to win an Australian Open singles match, upsetting 12th-seeded Nadia Petrova 6-2, 6-0.
At the other end of the age spectrum, Americans Madison Keys, 17, and Sloane Stephens, 19, advanced. Keys beat Casey Dellacqua of Australia 6-4, 7-6 (0), and Stephens defeated Simona Halep of Romania 6-1, 6-1.
Two of the main contenders for the men's title opened with straight-set victories. Third-ranked Andy Murray won his first Grand Slam match as a major champion, beating Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-1, 6-3, and second-ranked Roger Federer defeated Benoit Paire of France 6-2, 6-4, 6-1.
Murray was asked what it felt like to play after his triumph at the U.S. Open, where he became the first British man since 1936 to win a major title.
"I can try and focus on the second part of my career now," he said.
David Ferrer, who took the No. 4 seed when fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal withdrew because of a stomach virus, ousted Olivier Rochus of Belgium 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
Four American men advanced, led by Sam Querrey, the highest-ranked U.S. man (22nd) in the tournament after John Isner pulled out because of a knee injury. Querry beat Daniel Munoz-de la Nava of Spain 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-2, 6-4.
Brian Baker fended off Russia's Alex Bogomolov Jr. 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-7 (0), 3-6, 6-2; Tim Smyczek beat Croatia's Ivo Karlovic 6-4, 7-6 (5), 7-5; and Ryan Harrison's reward for beating Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 was a second-round match against top-ranked Novak Djokovic.