Dubai: Top-seeded Serena Williams faced some early struggles before defeating Russia's Ekaterina Makarova 7-6 (8), 6-0 in the second round of the Dubai Championships on Tuesday. Williams, playing in Dubai courtesy of a wild card, has been sidelined with a back injury since losing to Ana Ivanovic in the fourth round of the Australian Open last month.
It took Williams the first set to adjust to the left-handed Makarova's ability to jam many of her shots into the top-ranked American's body. "I felt a little rusty, but it was OK," Williams said. "Body is fine. I just had to get my feet moving, but it was OK."
The 24th-ranked Makarova broke Williams' serve in the first game of the match and was serving for the set at 5-4. That's when the Russian played an error-riddled game to allow Williams to even the score to 5-5.