Monday, January 17, 2011
Venus near perfect in first of match 2011.
Playing for the first time since the US Open, seven-time Grand Slam champion and former No.1 Venus Williams showed little sign of rust, smacking 33 winners to beat feisty Italian Sara Errani, 6-3 6-2.
Williams, the No.4 seed at one of the two Grand Slams she has never won (she is also missing the French Open), was at her aggressive best against Errani, balancing those 33 winners with just 18 errors, and winning 15 of 20 points at the net. Her serve was also on: eight aces to just one double fault. She fired one of her aces in the first point of the match and ended with one too.
"I was able to keep my errors low. I'm not sure what the stats were, but I played aggressively and won the important points most of the time," Williams said. "Sara's intensity was really high. Even when I had 40-0, she was trying to bring it back every time. I had never played her before. I have watched Serena play her before, so I knew what to expect. She has a really nice game."
For the second straight major, Williams is here without her sister, Serena Williams, who hasn't played since Wimbledon due to a foot injury. "It's a lot quieter. I realize how great it is to have someone on the tour that happens to be your sister, what a great support that is. I'm counting my blessings now."
What was Williams doing to keep busy during her time off? "I've been in school. I've been doing a lot of business development. I've become the business development for my company. I've held lots and lots and lots of meetings. It's a totally different side of life. I've never really done that before. But between that I've stayed really busy, and of course I was preparing to come back on tour."
The 23-year-old Errani fell to 0-18 lifetime against Top 10 players.
Next up for Williams is a first-time meeting with the Czech Republic's Sandra Zahlavova, who beat countrywoman Renata Voracova, 6-3 6-1.