Serena turns up the heat

Serena Williams on her way to victory against Margarita Gasparyan
Serena Williams on her way to victory against Margarita Gasparyan

Serena Williams lives in Florida, has won titles at the height of the Australia summer, and has not the slightest worry that a heatwave of British proportions will threaten her Wimbledon chances.

The 33-year-old American preserved her perfect first-round record at Wimbledon but a 6-4 6-1 win against Russian rookie Margarita Gasparyan on Court One was a thorough work-out.

Next for Williams will be Hungarian Timea Babos on Wednesday, when temperatures in London are expected to push 35 degrees Celsius. “It is going to be very hot. I don’t think I’ve ever played in 34, 35 here, But I do in other countries,” Williams said. “I just was training in Florida. It was like 42 degrees. This will be okay.”

Venus Williams joined her younger sister in the second round by winning 6-0 6-0 against fellow American Madison Brengle.

The 35-year-old torched the hopes of an opponent 10 years her junior to achieve the rare ‘double bagel’ and make the prospect of an all-Williams fourth-round clash look perfectly realistic.

It took the five-time champion just 41 minutes on Court Three, firing six aces dfand 29 winners in all against an outclassed opponent.

Former semi-finalist Victoria Azarenka coasted through her opening match at Wimbledon as she became the first woman through to the second round.

The 25-year-old Belarusian reached the last-four stage in 2011 and 2012, losing to Petra Kvitova and Serena Williams, and is the 23rd seed this year.

She is a former world number one, however, and overwhelmed Estonian Anett Kontaveit 6-2 6-1 in just 57 minutes on Court 12.