MELBOURNE, Australia - Serena Williams can't think of anything that needs changing as she tries to defend her title at the Australian Open, except maybe her color schemes.
The most obvious differences between the end of her stunning run to last season's first major championship and the start of her 2008 campaign Monday were the color of the court and the fact that Justine Henin followed her onto it.
The old, green Rebound Ace courts at Melbourne Park have been replaced by the blue Plexicushion, which is getting mixed reviews.
Williams started with a 6-3, 6-3 win over wild-card entry Jarmila Gajdosova, her first match back at Rod Laver Arena since a 6-1, 6-2 rout of Maria Sharapova in last year's final.
'It definitely feels good to be back,' Williams said. 'I just thought about last year, my last match on that court, I was able to win it.
'That's all I thought about. I didn't think about the ceremony, holding up the trophy. I just got right back into the swing of things and thought, 'I have to stay focused.'
A self-styled fashion aficionado, she approved of the new look.
'I like the color, it's really pretty,' said Williams, who wore a bright fuchsia pair of bicycle shorts and headband to contrast her short, white dress and the blue courts. 'I like how it's all blue.'
Sharapova didn't offer an opinion on the surface after her opening-round 6-4, 6-3 win over Jelena Kostanic Tosic, and denied that the color change reflected her mood after her last appearance at Rod Laver Arena.
'You can't think about what you did in the past years,' she said. 'You can't think about what your results were. You just got to look forward to what's going to come up.'
What's coming up for her is a second-round match against 2000 champion Lindsay Davenport, quickly becoming something of a supermom after holding off Italy's Sara Errani 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.
Davenport lost her temper at the chair umpire on an overrule and worked through bouts of pressure, but had enough experience to extend her record to 19-1 since returning to the tour following the birth of her son, Jagger, last June.
It also made her the richest prize money earner ever in women's tennis, lifting her career tally to $21,897,501 and surpassing Steffi Graf's career total.
Being pregnant kept Davenport out of last year's tournament. A divorce kept Henin out, and handed Sharapova the No. 1 seed.
After Williams became only the second unseeded Grand Slam champion in the Open era, and the third-lowest ranked winner (81), Henin returned to dominate the remainder of the season.
She won the French and U.S. Opens and lost only once - in the Wimbledon semifinals - in the last six months of '07.
She played the second match on center court Monday, returning for the first time since retiring in the 2006 final against Amelie Mauresmo. And Henin extended her winning streak to 29 matches when she won the last six games for a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Japan's Aiko Nakamura.
Henin only had vague memories, apart from disappointment that a stomach ailment stopped her one match short of a second Australian title in three years, of her last visit to Melbourne Park.
'I cannot really tell you it didn't come in my mind, but I didn't stay on this feeling,' she said. 'It seems so far away from me, and I moved forward, you know, and a lot of things happened.'
Jelena Jankovic had to dig deep to overcome Austria's Tamira Paszek 2-6, 6-2, 12-10, fending off three match points in the third set that lasted almost 2 hours and contained 15 service breaks.
It was a milestone win for Jankovic, who thought she might have lost a similar match 12 months ago.
'Maybe I'm maturing,' said Jankovic, who will be 23 next month. 'I'm a veteran on tour. You should expect these type of things to come out of me. If I'm not doing it now, when will I do it?'
She advanced with No. 11 Elena Dementieva, No. 12 Nicole Vaidisova, No. 13 Tatiana Golovin, No. 15 Patty Schnyder, No. 17 Shahar Peer and No. 18 Mauresmo.
Novak Djokovic, Jankovic's Serbian compatriot and No. 3 in the men's draw, was to open play on center court Tuesday against Benjamin Becker of Germany.
Top-ranked Roger Federer, aiming for a third consecutive Australian title and claiming to be 100 percent recovered from a stomach virus that interrupted his preparation, had a night match scheduled against Diego Hartfield of Argentina.
Second-ranked Rafael Nadal, the only player to beat Federer at the last 10 Grand Slams - in the past two French Open finals - had to recover from service breaks in each of the first two sets to beat Viktor Troicki of Serbia 7-6 (3), 7-5, 6-1 in the late match as temperatures dipped to 61 degrees.
There will be no second round for Andy Murray, who was seeded ninth after winning two weeks ago at Doha, Qatar. He lost 7-5, 6-4, 0-6, 7-6 (5) to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France.
Murray, a 20-year-old Scot who carries heavy expectations from Britain, had some advice for No. 16 Carlos Moya and No. 18 Juan Ignacio Chela, who also made first-round exits with him.
'These are the matches you come back from - you learn a lot from them,' Murray said. 'I don't think it's the end of the world. I mean, worse things could have happened to me out there.'