Australian Open 2013: Venus Williams wins first round

Venus powers through to continue fine form after recovering from illness

and improved her
ranking to No 24 by year's end.

Easy does it: Venus Williams cruised into the second round of the Australian Open with a comfortable win

Easy does it: Venus Williams cruised into the second round of the Australian Open with a comfortable win

Williams could meet Maria Sharapova in the third round at Melbourne Park and was pleased to have negotiated the first hurdle with the minimum of fuss.

The American said: 'It's nice to spend less time on court and not be in long sets.

'A win is a win no matter what it is, but it's nice when it's more routine.'

Good game: Williams shakes hands with Galina Voskoboeva and was watched by sister Serena (below)

Good game: Williams shakes hands with Galina Voskoboeva and was watched by sister Serena (below)

Serena Williams

There were also wins for in-form fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, sixth seed Li Na and home favourite Sam Stosur.

Radwanska, the winner of the warm-up events in Auckland and Sydney, looked in danger of dropping her first set of 2013 when Australian wild card Bojana Bobusic served for the opener at 5-4 but the Pole upped her level and rattled off the next nine games to go through 7-5 6-0.

Nervy moments: Agnieszka Radwanska overcame a sluggish start to beat Bojana Bobusic in straight sets

Nervy moments: Agnieszka Radwanska overcame a sluggish start to beat Bojana Bobusic in straight sets

Li, the runner-up here in 2011, eased past Kazakhstan's Sesil Karatantcheva 6-1 6-3 but Stosur was made to work harder by Chang Kai-Chen of Chinese Taipei.

Ninth seed Stosur has only managed to reach the fourth round of her home grand slam and had her nervy moments once again before securing a 7-6 (7/3) 6-3 triumph.