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Page last updated at 13:27 GMT, Tuesday, 23 June 2009 14:27 UK

Venus sizzles in Wimbledon opener

Date: 22 June - 5 July
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Venus eyes more Wimbledon titles

By Piers Newbery at Wimbledon

Defending champion Venus Williams swept past Switzerland's Stefanie Voegele on a sun-drenched Centre Court in the first round of Wimbledon.

The 29-year-old American, who is going for a sixth singles title at the All England Club, won 6-3 6-2.

A run of 14 straight points put Williams in charge of the opening set, and she broke three times in the second to win in 74 minutes

Third seed Williams will play Kateryna Bondarenko in the second round.

Williams was never likely to be troubled by the 19-year-old world number 97, and apart from an early tumble the American's movement remained as impressive as ever on the grass.

It's a special moment when you walk back as defending champion on that court

Venus Williams

The champion was able to dominate with her heavy forehand and big serve, and Voegele struggled to keep her at bay.

There was a brief hiccup for Williams when she lost one of her breaks and was pegged pack to 5-3 but a couple of clean winners helped her see out the set.

A break to love in game three of the second set suggested the match was as good as over but Voegele battled impressively, levelling at 2-2 after taking her fourth break point of a tense game.

It was the briefest of crises for the five-time champion, however, and Williams reeled off four games in a row to set up a meeting with Bondarenko, who beat Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 7-6 (7-5).

"It was pretty straightforward," said Williams. "I really enjoyed being out there.


"You know, it's a special moment when you walk back as defending champion on that court, throw those balls up for that first point. It's a really great feeling."

And after winning five titles at the All England Club, she admitted: "If you pick one Slam to win, it's got to be this one.

"You know, I've always been in the position to win the others and have been just as far as the finals and ran into a pretty tough player, so was a little bit unlucky.

"But overall I feel like I had the game, and always have the game, to put myself in a position at any of the majors. So I have to just keep on trying."

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see also
Venus v Voegele as it happened
23 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Murray stays cool to win opener
23 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Baltacha win lifts British gloom
23 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Six Brits lose on disastrous day
23 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Safina grinds out opening victory
23 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Del Potro and Roddick earn wins
23 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Wimbledon day two as it happened
23 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Bogdanovic dumped out by Berdych
23 Jun 09 |  Tennis
O'Brien and Stoop both slip out
23 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Wimbledon: Live map
22 Jun 09 |  Tennis
26 Jun 07 |  Results
Women's singles results
26 Jun 07 |  Results
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis

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