Millennium Post

Venus outshines new star in opener

Venus outshines new star in opener
Venus Williams, who could return to the world’s top ten for the first time in four years if she makes a successful defence of the Dubai Open title this week, began the journey with a 6-1, 6-2 rout of highly-regarded Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic on Monday.

The 34-year-old holder of seven Grand Slam titles outplayed Bencic, a 17-year-old earmarked by some as the tour’s most promising new player, for the loss of just three games in only an hour and nine minutes, making her the first player into the third round.

Bencic, the winner of both the Wimbledon and French open junior titles and last year’s WTA Tour newcomer of the year after rising 179 places to number 33, frequently hit the ball very hard and sometimes brilliantly.

But Williams’ fitness levels and playing standard are higher than for many a year.

She was superb off the ground on both wings, and her 28 winners made up for inconsistencies in her serving.  Part of this return to form has been due to patient and well thought out long term plans to recover from chronic illness, but part right now may be coming from her liking for the
Dubai atmosphere and conditions.
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