There were no signs of rust as Serena Williams made her WTA Tour return in Rome, her first appearance at the tournament since 2016.
Serena Williams marked her return to action with an explosive display and a 6-4 6-2 victory over Rebecca Peterson at the Internazionali d'Italia on Monday.
Williams had not played on the WTA Tour since beating Peterson at the Miami Open in March, before bowing out of that tournament with a left knee injury.
But the 23-time grand slam champion was back with a rare appearance on the clay - her first in Rome since claiming a fourth title in 2016 - and looked to come through unscathed as she prepares for the French Open.
Williams served superbly, with the exception of one early break, and she gradually started to convert break points with some regularity, teeing up a potential second-round meeting with sister Venus, who faces Elise Mertens in her own opener.
Williams seeking Margaret Court's all-time record
The former world number one has limited her court-time since giving birth to her daughter last year, after which she said she had suffered some personal issues as well as physical problems stemming from the procedure.
Despite her stop-start 2019 season, the former world number one will go into Roland Garros later in May among the favourites for the title as she aims to claim her 24th Grand Slam victory, which would take her level with the tally achieved by Australian great Margaret Court.