Venus Williams is not looking beyond the second round after negotiating her way past Angelique Kerber in her opening match at the Australian Open today.

While Williams won 6-3 6-3 she did not have everything her own way against the German, who was making just her second appearance at Melbourne Park.

The American sixth seed raced to a 5-0 lead in the opening set and appeared to be heading for an easy win in hot conditions in Hisense Arena.

But Kerber fought back, mixing up her game well and received a huge cheer when she finally held serve to get her first game on the board.

Although she got it back to 5-3, Kerber could not stop Williams who closed out the first set with an ace.

Even when she was down 3-1 in the final set, Williams remained calm and won the next five games to seal the win and set up a second-round clash with Carla Suarez Navarro.

When asked about her chances later on in the competition, where she could face her sister Serena, Williams replied: ‘For me it's about getting to that next round.

‘I don't know who will win. I don't know who will lose. I've got to get there. That's really what it's all about for me.

‘I was really happy to be out there, hit a lot of balls and find a rhythm and advance (to the second round).’

Younger sibling Serena was rarely extended on the way to a win against China's Yuan Meng.

Although the heat and sun appeared to affect her at times she soon had the better of her opponent, hitting 26 winners as she cruised to a 6-3 6-2 win.

‘It was a little hot for me today. But I was able to take my time and play a lot slower, not giving a 1000%,’ she said.

‘Today in this heat, I think it was pretty important for me not to go crazy out there, try and conserve some energy.’

Fourth seed Elena Dementieva was just happy to have survived her three-setter against Kristina Barrois.

Dementieva had to come from behind to take the first set in a tie-break, then dropped the second set before she finally got the better of her German opponent 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 6-1.

‘It was very tough, not just because of the conditions but also playing so many matches coming in,’ Dementieva said.

‘She played very well, had nothing to lose and was really going for her shots. I was worried.

‘I wasn't playing my best today - I wouldn't have minded having one or two days extra rest before playing - but these are the days you have got to survive. I'm glad I was able to do it.’

Fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova also needed three sets to overcome Anastasia Rodionova, winning 6-2 3-6 6-3.

Former champion Amelie Mauresmo showed no sign of the thigh injury that saw her withdraw from warm-up tournaments in Brisbane and Sydney as she beat Olga Govortsova 6-4 6-3.

It was the first match for the 2006 winner in two weeks and she was delighted to have come through unscathed.

‘I was very comfortable on the leg today. Over the last couple of days it felt really good and I could move around just the way I wanted,’ the Frenchwoman said.

‘I'm just happy I got through this match.’

She will now play British number three Elena Baltacha after she defeated Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-1 6-4.

While the top seeds all enjoyed success, ninth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, a quarter-finalist last year, was not so fortunate, being bundled out by Kateryna Bondarenko in three sets 7-6 (9-7) 4-6 6-1.

Tamarine Tanasugarn, seeded 32, went down in straight sets to Maria Jose Martin Sanchez 7-5 6-3 and 28th seed Francesca Schiavone was ousted by Shuai Peng 7-6 (7-4) 6-1.

Other seeds to progress were Victoria Azarenka, Alona Bondarenko, Patty Schnyder, Anabel Medina Garrigues, Flavia Pennetta and Zheng Jie.

Women's Singles Round 1:

Yung-Jan Chan (Tpe) bt Su-Wei Hsieh (Tpe) 6-3 6-3, (14) Patty Schnyder (Swi) bt Kristina Mladenovic (Fra) 2-6 6-4 6-2, (13) Victoria Azarenka (Blr) bt Petra Kvitova (Cze) 6-2 6-1, Virginie Razzano (Fra) bt Jarmila Gajdosova (Aus) 6-1 6-7 (2-7) 6-4, Lourdes Dominguez Lino (Spa) bt Ekaterina Bychkova (Rus) 6-3 6-0, Tatjana Malek (Ger) bt Ayumi Morita (Jpn) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2, (22) Jie Zheng (Chn) bt Camille Pin (Fra) 6-3 6-3, (12) Flavia Pennetta (Ita) bt Mara Santangelo (Ita) 6-2 5-7 6-2, Julie Coin (Fra) bt Elena Vesnina (Rus) 6-4 4-6 6-1, (2) Serena Williams (USA) bt Meng Yuan (Chn) 6-3 6-2, Severine Bremond (Fra) bt Nicole Vaidisova (Cze) 6-2 6-1, (21) Anabel Medina Garrigues (Spa) bt Isabella Holland (Aus) 6-1 7-5, Iveta Benesova (Cze) bt Vera Dushevina (Rus) 6-4 0-6 6-2, Akgul Amanmuradova (Uzb) bt Melanie Oudin (USA) 6-1 6-4, Carla Suarez-Navarro (Spa) bt Roberta Vinci (Ita) 7-5 6-4, Melinda Czink (Hun) bt Sorana-Mihaela Cirstea (Rom) 6-2 6-2, (4) Elena Dementieva (Rus) bt Kristina Barrois (Ger) 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 6-1, Sesil Karatancheva (Bul) bt Nuria Llagostera Vives (Spa) 2-6 6-1 6-2, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (Spa) bt (32) Tamarine Tanasugarn (Tha) 7-5 6-3, Kateryna Bondarenko (Ukr) bt (9) Agnieszka Radwanska (Pol) 7-6 (9-7) 4-6 6-1, Elena Baltacha (Gbr) bt Anna-Lena Groenefeld (Ger) 6-1 6-4, Samantha Stosur (Aus) bt Klara Zakopalova (Cze) 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-0), (31) Alona Bondarenko (Ukr) bt Olivia Rogowska (Aus) 5-7 6-3 6-2, (20) Amelie Mauresmo (Fra) bt Olga Govortsova (Blr) 6-4 6-3, (6) Venus Williams (USA) bt Angelique Kerber (Ger) 6-3 6-3, Shuai Peng (Chn) bt (28) Francesca Schiavone (Ita) 7-6 (7-4) 6-1, Tathiana Garbin (Ita) bt Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Rus) 6-4 2-6 7-5, (8) Svetlana Kuznetsova (Rus) bt Anastasia Rodionova (Aus) 6-2 3-6 6-3, Jessica Moore (Aus) bt Christina Mchale (USA) 1-6 6-3 9-7, Gisela Dulko (Arg) bt Anastasia Yakimova (Blr) 6-3 5-7 6-3, (18) Dominika Cibulkova (Svk) bt Chanelle Scheepers (Rsa) 6-0 6-0, Sabine Lisicki (Ger) bt (30) Aleksandra Wozniak (Can) 6-4 6-3