Venus Williams advances at China tennis Open
Venus Williams defeated Vera Dushevina, 6-2, 7-6, to advance to the second round of the China Open.
Williams dictated play on the first night of main draw matches-for better and for worse.
She punished Dushevina in the first set with heavy ground strokes and big serves, breaking her twice for the easy early lead. But then lost her concentration in the second set, quickly falling behind to the Russian 0-4 on a series of mishits and double faults.
Williams stormed back, reeling off five straight games including three service breaks to get to 5-4. But again she faltered, allowing the set to go to a tiebreak before closing it out.
“It got away from me. I started making a few too many errors out there,” Williams told reporters after the match.
“I was still just focused on winning the set, and focusing on not giving too much more away,” she added. “I was just confident that if I kept getting games, I’d make her uncomfortable and make her start thinking about it.”
Dinara Safina beat Roberta Vinci 64 64 in the first round, while Serena Williams defeated Kaia Kanepi 75 64.
Maria Sharapova has a first round bye thanks to her title win in Tokyo.
Alize Cornet upset Samantha Stosur 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Cornet broke Stosur in the 10th game to take the first set 6-4, but Australian battled back in the second to even the match at one set all.
Cornet did not fold under the pressure, making just nine unforced errors throughout the match to Stosur’s 23 and sealing the victory 6-3 in the third.
Flavia Pennetta, fought back an early challenge from Han Xinyun to win in straight sets, 7-6 (7/2), 6-2.