QUEBEC: US top seed Venus Williams advanced to the second round of the WTA tournament at Quebec City with a 7-5, 6-3 triumph over Canada’s Francoise Abanda.
The 19th-ranked American, coming off a third-round exit at the US Open, connected on only 59 percent of her first serves but won three-quarters of those points, including five aces, on the way to dispatching her 17-year-old rival in 85 minutes.
Next in the path of the seven-time Grand Slam singles champion will be Ukraine’s 242nd-ranked Olga Savchuk, who defeated Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski 6-3, 7-5 to reach the second round of a WTA event for the first time this season.
Williams seeks her 46th career WTA crown and her second of the year after winning at Dubai.
The 34-year-old elder sister of world number one Serena Williams, who won her 18th Grand Slam title Sunday at the US Open, has claimed only two WTA titles since 2010, a year before she was diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, which can cause fatigue and dizziness.
French third seed Kristina Mladenovic advanced by beating Britain’s Naomi Broady 6-4, 7-5 while Czech Lucie Hradecka ousted Portugal’s sixth-seeded Michelle Larcher De Brito 7-6 (7/4), 6-1.