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Yarra Valley Classic: Venus Williams Crushes Arantxa Rus to Set Up Petra Kvitova Showdown

Venus Williams (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Venus Williams (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Venus Williams beat Arantxa Rus to storm into the second round of the Yarra Valley Classic.

Former world number one Venus Williams produced a vintage display to outclass Netherlands’ Arantxa Rus in straight sets and storm into the second round of the Yarra Valley Classic as a packed week of Australian Open warm-up events kicked off on Sunday.

The 40-year-old American broke serve twice in each set to canter to a 6-1 6-3 victory in a little over an hour and set up a date with fourth seed Petra Kvitova in the next round.

American 13th seed Danielle Collins also had a straightforward outing as she eased to a 6-3 6-3 win against Belgian Ysaline Bonaventure. She was joined in the second round by compatriot Shelby Rogers, who upset 12th seed Fiona Ferro 6-2 7-5.

Australia’s Daria Gavrilova opted to skip karaoke night with a friend and instead made Slovakian Viktoria Kuzmova dance to her tunes, racing to a 6-2 6-0 win in under just 65 minutes.

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“I missed a big event with my friend Greg’s birthday and going to karaoke and I was pretty upset about that and thought I had to lock it in today,” said the 26-year-old, who faces 23-times Grand Slam champion Serena Williams next after the American received a first-round bye.

Also advancing was Czech Republic’s Marie Bouzkova, who downed home favourite and former U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur 6-2 6-0.

Unseeded Romanian Ana Bogdan crushed Russian teenager Kamilla Rakhimova 6-2 6-2 to set up a date with top seed Ash Barty.

The tournament is one of six arranged by Tennis Australia before the start of the Australian Open to allow players a chance of some match action after two weeks in quarantine hotels.

first published:January 31, 2021, 14:21 IST
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