Venus spins out at first hurdle

Last week's Rogers Cup's finalist crashes out of the Cincinnati Open but Sharapova, Halep safely through.

    Williams had reached the final of the Rogers Cup beating Serena in the semis [Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports]
    Williams had reached the final of the Rogers Cup beating Serena in the semis [Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports]

    Venus Williams failed to sustain the momentum from her run to last week's Montreal final and ran out of gas in Cincinnati as she fell 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 to 16th-seed Lucie Safarova in the first round of the Western and Southern Open.

    Williams, who beat her top-ranked younger sister Serena to reach the Rogers Cup final, where she lost to Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska, looked like she might be ready to make another run in Cincinnati after taking the opening set in a tiebreak.

    However, the seven-time grand slam champion could not convert any of her four break chances in the second while Safarova converted her one and only opportunity to level the match.

    "It was definitely a quick turnaround, maybe would have been a little better to play a little later in the day," said Williams, back in top 20 for first time since March 2013 following her runner-up finish at Montreal.

    Fifth-seed Maria Sharapova needed three sets to dispose of American Madison Keys in her evening second round contest, finally prevailing 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in just under two hours.

    In the other feature second round contests Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki made short work of China's Zhang Shuai 6-2, 6-3 win and second seed Simona Halep won 6-4, 6-2 over Kirsten Flipkins.

    Also in the first round, American Sloane Stephens beat German Andrea Petkovic 6-3, 6-3 and 14th seed Italian Sara Errani beat qualifier Yanina Wickmayer 7-5, 3-6, 7-6.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.