Serena Williams is excited to face sister Venus in the Lexington Open second round and feels the “tough match” will provide the perfect preparation for the US Open which starts on 31 August.

The 23-time grand slam champion made a winning return to the WTA tour on Tuesday but needed three sets to get past Bernarda Pera in Kentucky.

It was the number one seed’s first competitive fixture since a Fed Cup qualifier in February and she eventually got close to top gear to win 4-6 6-4 6-1.

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

A straight sets victory later in the day for Venus Williams over Victoria Azarenka by a 6-3 6-3 score saw her book a last-16 meeting with her younger sister.

Serena Williams told a press conference: “I have a really tough match in the next round, but it is good in general because I haven’t played. A lot of players have been playing little things and little matches and playing against other players but I’ve only been training.

“This was really good for me, I was missing shots but I was like ‘oh, I should probably hit it that way’ so it was trying to get back into the swing of things.”

Coco Gauff, who beat Venus Williams at Wimbledon last year, secured her spot in the next round with a 7-5 7-5 success over fellow American Caroline Dolehide.

Fifth seed Yulia Putintseva also progressed into the second round with ease after a 6-0 6-4 win over Aila Tomlianovic.

But former US Open champion Sloane Stephens suffered an upset at the hands of Canadian qualifier Leylah Annie Fernandez, with the teenager beating the American 6-3 6-3.

At the Prague Open, Simona Halep needed seven match points to finally beat Polona Hercog in a hard-fought three-setter.

The Romanian, who is the top seed at the event, progressed 6-1 1-6 7-6 (3) after two hours and 31 minutes.

Halep told “I knew it was going to be difficult. All our matches were very tough and very long. She knows me pretty well, we played in juniors. She changes the rhythm, she plays drop shots, a little bit softer then harder, so it was tougher for me to be in the point.”

Second seed Petra Martic joined Halep in the second round after a 7-6 (2) 6-3 triumph against Vervara Gracheva.

Yet Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Anastasija Sevastova were two seeds to exit after defeats to Arantxa Rus and Irina Begu respectively.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Brazil-born striker Alan declares ‘love’ for China

RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil-born striker Alan has lavished prise on Chinese football and says he has fallen in love with the country he now calls home. The 30-year-old arrived in China in 2015 after almost five years with Austria’s…

‘It’s a no-brainer, communism isn’t for America’: UFC star Masvidal teams up with Trump Jr for ‘Fighters Against Socialism’ rally

The welterweight contender and Trump supporter took part in a bus tour across Florida, where he and the president’s eldest son spoke at several events in Tampa, Orlando and Miami. The 35-year-old shared a clip on his Instagram Stories of…

Woods insists he was ‘ready’ to defend Masters title

Tiger Woods felt strong and fit enough to compete for another green jacket. He could sense the adrenaline starting to flow, along with a strange sensation. He was grumpy. Instead of flying to Augusta National for the Masters this week,…

Stars stun Golden Knights in OT

  The Stars took a 2-1 series lead in 2020 Western Conference Final by beating the Golden Knights 3-2 (OT) in Game 3. Alexander Radulov ended up being the hero for the Stars, scoring the game-winner just 31 seconds into…