MONTREAL (AP) — Venus Williams opened play in the Rogers Cup on Wednesday with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Barbora Strycova.
Playing her last event before the Rio Olympics, the 36-year-old Williams finished off the overmatched Czech player in 58 minutes. Williams was coming a loss to Britain’s Johanna Konta on Sunday in the final of the Bank of the West Classic in California.
“It was definitely more straightforward than some of our other matches,” Williams said. “I’m never happy with my matches. Even an easy scoreline is never enough. But it’s about figuring out how to win instead of playing perfect.”
The seven-time Grand Slam champion, seeded sixth, gave up 10 points in the 24-minute second set.
The only hiccup for Williams was the seventh game of the first set. Up 4-2, she had her serve broken.
“I just needed to stay focused,” said Williams. “A 4-4 is definitely different than a 5-3. But it wasn’t necessarily a turning point, because there are matches where I’ve been down and came back, and vice versa, so you realize that the match isn’t over until it’s over.”
Williams will face Madison Keys in the third round. Keys beat fellow American Madison Brengle 6-4, 6-3.
Konta also advanced, topping Vania King of the United States 7-5, 6-1.
Fourth-seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland beat Monica Niculescu of Romania 6-1, 7-5; seventh-seeded Roberta Vinci topped fellow Italian Camila Giorgi 2-6, 6-3, 6-4; and Slovakia’s Kristina Kucova beat eighth-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Hometown player Francoise Abanda tumbled out, falling 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3) to Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina. The 19-year-old from Montreal pushed both sets to tiebreakers, but her service game let her down. Svitolina broke the Canadian twice in the first set, and four times in the second set in the second-round match.
Svitolina will face second-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany or Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia.
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