Venus beat Vesna Dolonts in US opener

Venus Williams began her US Open battle with a comfortable 6-4 6-3 victory over Russia's Vesna Dolonts in the night session on Arthur Ashe Stadium. The 31-year-old has played only three tournaments since getting the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows 12 months ago, and she has not played at all since losing to Tsvetana Pironkova in the fourth round of Wimbledon in June.

The American, the champion in New York in 2000 and 2001, looked a slight rusty to start with and was broken by Dolonts, the world number 91, in the fifth game. But that seemed to spark Williams into life and she broke directly back before overriding her opponent to take the set with a decisive break in the 10th game.

Having started slowly in the first set, the American was not about to make the same mistake in the second, and she broke at the first chance before sealing victory with a service winner. Williams, who is unseeded this year after dropping to 49th in the rankings, is expected to face Wimbledon semi-finalist Sabine Lisicki in round two.

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