On the hunt for a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam title, American powerhouse Serena Williams demolished her German opponent Tatjana Maria 6-0, 6-2 in the first round of the Australian Open on Tuesday.

Now 37, the seven-time Australian Open winner withdrew from last year's tournament after giving birth to her daughter Olympia. But if her opponents thought the time away from the court may have slowed her down, Tuesday's ruthless showing appeared to prove she's just as driven as before.

Looking to make a strong, powerful statement after her enforced layoff, Williams said after the match "I have been working really, really hard in the off-season to be incredibly fit and incredibly ready." But having returned to action less than one year ago, the power-hitter added that she still needs to focus on her "consistency".

"I didn't make too many unforced errors today," she said. "But she's a tricky player. It could have been easily a 6-3, 6-4 match or three-set match." "When I have a tougher round or I know someone is really good, I really want to be focused, and then that was really helpful for me today."