Family issues

Lexington (US), August 12

Serena Williams made a profitable return to aggressive tennis as she rallied from a set right down to beat Bernarda Pera 4-6 6-Four 6-1 on the Top Seed Open right here yesterday in her first match of the Covid-19 period.

Williams was 5 factors from falling to the American left-hander within the second set however all of a sudden showcased her preventing spirit and pulled away to arrange a second-round showdown with older sister Venus, a 6-Three 6-2 winner over Victoria Azarenka.

“It’s good just in general because I haven’t played,” stated Serena, who’s gearing up for the August 31-September 13 US Open. “A lot of players have been playing — little things and little matches and playing against other players — but I’ve only been training so this was really good for me,” she added.

The Top Seed Open, the primary WTA Tour event within the US because the Covid-19 outbreak halted play, offered a style of what’s to return for the 38-year-old American as she bids for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title in New York, with empty, silent stands taking the place of roaring crowds.

“I’ve been through so many things in my career so this was totally different,” stated Serena. “Being in New York will be a little different because there’s this massive stadium.”

Venus, who fell within the first spherical on the Australian Open, Acapulco and Monterrey earlier this yr, cruised by way of her conflict of former world No. 1s as she turned apart the one break level she confronted throughout an 80-minute win over Azarenka. “Honestly, it’s really difficult to come back after all these months and play well,” Venus stated.

About her upcoming conflict, Venus stated, “One Grand Slam winner, former world No. 1, to another. It’s been quite the draw for me. But quite honestly, this is perfect, because I haven’t played in forever, so I want to play the best players. And I think I got my wish playing Serena, so here we go.”

In different motion, former US Open champion Sloane Stephens was upset 6-Three 6-Three by Canadian Leylah Fernandez, Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putinseva beat Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic 6-Zero 6-Four and Coco Gauff beat fellow American Caroline Dolehide 7-5 7-5. — Agencies

Pliskova wins

PRAGUE: Kristyna Pliskova (in pic) delivered the most important upset of the Prague Open up to now, ousting No. 2 seed Petra Martic 6-1 7-5 within the second spherical. Third seed Elise Mertens edged previous Camila Giorgi 6-Four 6-2 and seal her place within the quarterfinals.

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