CHARLESTON, S.C. — Serena Williams only had three days to make the transition from hard courts to clay, and it showed a few times as she won her opening match at the Family Circle Cup.
The world's No. 1 player beat Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-3 on Tuesday, losing her serve in her second game and looking uncomfortable when the Italian was able to get Williams running.
Williams avoided a rash of upsets at the first clay court tournament of the season. Three of the top seeds were beaten in their opening matches, including No. 4 Sloane Stephens, who lost 6-2, 6-0 to Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
Williams did look shaky to start. Up 3-2 in the first set, she was nearly broken again. She lost the first three points of the game before rallying back to win the next five. Giorgi wouldn't get another chance to break Williams the rest of the match, and only won two points against Williams' serve the entire second set.
Upsets Tuesday included qualifier Jessica Pegula, whose father Terrence owns the Buffalo Sabres, beating No. 8 seed Mona Barthel 7-6, 6-1. Seventh-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro lost to Stefanie Voegele 6-2, 6-4 and qualifier Vania King defeated No. 14 seed Yaroslava Shvedova 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 and .
All the other seeded players won Tuesday, including No. 9 seed Jelena Jankovic who beat Melanie Oudin 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in a match that took nearly three hours. It was Jankovic's first win over Oudin in three matches.
Jankovic, who won in Charleston in 2007, wasn't the only former Family Circle Cup champion to win Tuesday. No. 15 seed Sabine Lisicki, the 2009 winner, beat Anna Tatishvili 6-0, 6-0.