Top ranked Serena Williams made a successful return to hard courts with a 6-3, 6-2 thrashing of former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone in the second round of the Rogers Cup on Wednesday.
Williams was joined in the third round by three other high seeded players who were making their first appearances on the North American hardcourts after the season shifted from Europe.
Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli beat American Lauren Davis 6-0, 6-3, fourth seed Li Na of China joined her following a 6-1 6-4 victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia while fifth seeded Italian Sara Errani accounted for Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 7-6(2).
Williams played an aggressive and consistent match to beat Schiavone, whose attempts to serve and volley and mix up her attack had little effect on the 16-time Grand Slam champion.
"Usually I have a lot of nerves going out there, but in the beginning, I was so relaxed," Williams, who won a claycourt tournament in Sweden after Wimbledon, told reporters.
"I always feel that way when I'm playing a Grand Slam champion. I just feel a little bit more relaxed and ready to play."
Williams will face Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium in the third round after the 13th seed beat Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 7-5, 3-6, 6-2.
Andy Murray shook off some early rust to beat Marcel Granollers 6-4, 7-6(2) in his first match since winning Wimbledon and Rafael Nadal blazed past Canadian wildcard Jesse Levine in the second round of the Rogers Cup on Wednesday.
Murray struggled to find his usual rhythm in windy conditions and had to save two set points in a mixed display that reflected some nerves and a lack of match practice.
The Scot romped through the tiebreak with some impressive shot-making to set up a third round meeting with Latvia's Ernests Gulbis, who beat Italian Fabio Fognini 6-3, 1-6, 6-1.
"It was tricky, it is extremely windy here," Murray said. "I didn't feel that I had my timing and got pushed behind the baseline."
Rafael Nadal was more impressive in his first singles match since a shock first round defeat by Steve Darcis at Wimbledon opened the door for Murray to win the title.
The 12-time Grand Slam champion found Levine willing in the opening exchanges as the pair engaged in some exciting and lengthy rallies.
But Nadal, as he has demonstrated throughout his illustrious career, had all the answers and showed in his 6-2, 6-0 victory that he has returned to the tour in top shape after an absence of six weeks.
Image: Serena Williams
Photograph: Mark Blinch/Reuters