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Serena Williams progresses as Venus is sent packing

By Eleanor Crooks

Serena Williams ruthlessly dispatched teenager Ashleigh Barty but Venus Williams and Petra Kvitova were both sent packing at the Australian Open.

Facing the world number one was a daunting assignment for 17-year-old Australian wild card Barty and, not surprisingly, she could offer little resistance as Williams eased to a 6-2 6-1 victory inside an hour.

Williams said: "It was a little tricky out there. It's good to get through that match."

The American applauded Barty off the court, and she added: "I like her a lot. She's so young. I'd like to see her do really well."

Laura Robson's Australian Open lasted less than an hour as she was comprehensively beaten in the first round by 18th seed Kirsten Flipkens.

The British number one came into the tournament without having completed a match this season because of a left wrist injury and it showed.

Robson's wrist did not seem to bother her during the 50 minutes Belgian Flipkens took to beat her 6-3 6-0, but her movement was sluggish. A battling performance from Heather Watson was not enough to prevent the British number three going out to 31st seed Daniela Hantuchova.

Watson fought back from losing a first set she might have won to level the match, but Hantuchova went on to win 7-5 3-6 6-3.

Belfast Telegraph


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