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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 January, 2004, 03:37 GMT
No problems for Venus
Venus Williams
Venus last played in the Wimbledon final last year
Venus Williams won her first match in six months to reach the second round at the expense of her fellow American Ashley Harkleroad.

Williams, seeded three, has not played since a stomach injury flared up at Wimbledon, where she lost in the final to her sister Serena.

"It was just like a breath of fresh air - Oh yes, I'm back," said Williams, who took the match 6-2 6-1.

"I was real excited out there today," she added.

Williams hit 27 winners compared to just three from her opponent but more than twice as many unforced errors.

Harkleroad did manage one break of serve but was never in the running.

But there was a slight concern for Williams, who twisted an ankle in the first set.

"I was going for my swing volley and twisted my right ankle," she said.

"I'll monitor it, see how it goes - I'm not expecting it'll cause any problems."

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