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Venus Williams wins 1st match at Australian Open

1/13/2013 7:39:00 PM

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Venus Williams used her powerful serve to start her Australian Open run with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan on Monday.

Williams, who had a first-serve rate of 70 percent, also took advantage of six of 11 break-point opportunities.

After dropping outside the top 100 following a seven-month layoff due to Sjogren's syndrome, an auto-immune disease that can cause fatigue, Williams finished in the quarterfinals or better at five of the 10 events she played in 2012 and improved her ranking to No. 24 by year's end.

Williams could meet Maria Sharapova in the third round at Melbourne Park.