Defending champion Serena Williams reached the second round at Wimbledon by defeating Aravane Rezai of France 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.

Williams was out of action for nearly a year after foot surgery and blood clots in her lungs. She played her first competitive matches since winning Wimbledon at Eastbourne last week.

The seventh-seeded American has won four titles at the All England Club and is one of the favorites this year despite her long absence from the tour.

Against Rezai, Williams lost the opening two games but then won five straight to take control of the first set. After losing the second set, she broke to take a 3-1 lead and held on for victory.