Tennis

Venus wins 1st round match

2011-08-30 07:03
Venus Williams (AP)

New York - Two-time champion Venus Williams, playing her first match in two months, reached the second round of the US Open tennis championships on Monday with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Russian Vesna Dolonts.

Williams, winner of back-to-back titles at Flushing Meadows in 2000 and 2001, is unseeded this year thanks to the slide in her world ranking to 36.

The American is without a title in 2011 - in fact she's playing just her fourth tournament.

Williams retired after one game of her third-round match at the Australian Open in January with an abdominal injury.

She didn't play again until Eastbourne in June, then had been idle since a fourth-round exit at Wimbledon.

Since then she had withdrawn from tournaments at Toronto and Cincinnati with a viral illness that she said sapped her energy.

"It's always nerve-wracking to play the first match after a layoff in a major," Williams said. "It's not really my first choice at all.

"But I just tried to rely on experience and just tried to get after it. So I was pleased with the level."

Williams looked fit enough on Monday, firing eight aces past the 91st-ranked Dolonts, whose travel to New York from Moscow was disrupted by the airport closures prompted by Tropical Storm Irene.

The Russian didn't arrive in New York until Monday.

"I didn't really know about her circumstances until I walked on the court," Williams said. "I'm not sure what the details are of that, but definitely not ideal.

"But no matter what, you have to come out swinging. I think she did well. I thought she was hitting the corners. Definitely kept me on my toes."

Williams said the toughest part of coming back from a layoff was finding a rhythm in the points. She didn't let that stop her from deploying her usual aggressive style, coming forward when she had the chance.

"My game is built on my serve, and of course, I like to follow it up with a lot of aggressive play," said Williams, who grinned and clenched her fist after firing a service winner past Dolonts on match point. "And it's great to see a lot of those balls land in."

In the second round, Williams will face either Alona Bondareno of Ukraine or Germany's Wimbledon semi-finalist Sabine Lisicki.

She said she thought that despite her recent illness she'd have the stamina to see her through some tougher matches here.

"I think I can do what it takes, but I guess I'll have to see," said Williams, who said she found spending so much time off court "disheartening".

"I do feel like I can play six matches. I need to win them," she said. "No one is more in 'one-match-at-a-time' mode than me now at this tournament."

* Who's your money on at the US Open? Click HERE to bet now with BET.CO.ZA

Read more on:    us open  |  venus williams
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Mathieu advances in Metz

2014-09-15 22:31

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

 

Printable solar panels will bring exciting new opportunities!

Printed sheets of flexible solar cells can mean your electronic devices can soon be charged with the use of renewable energy.

 
 

For chic geeks...

Now there’s a special lane for texting while walking
LOL! 7 brutally honest texts from parents
This lock means keys are something of the past!
7 things you didn't know about Apple
 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.