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We see you Venus!!

Venus Williams sent out a warning Monday as she outshone some of her biggest rivals on day one of the Australian Open.

Williams overcame a sluggish start to overpower Italy’s Sara Errani 6-3, 6-2, as top seed Caroline Wozniacki, former winners Maria Sharapova and Justine Henin, and French Open champion Francesca Schiavone all struggled to impress. Wozniacki took 1hr 40min to see off Gisela Dulko 6-3, 6-4, Sharapova struggled with her serve before beating Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-1, 6-3, and Henin had to pull out all stops to beat Indian qualifier Sania Mirza 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.

Meanwhile French Open champion Schiavone lost the first set to Arantxa Parra Santonja before eventually winning 6-7 (4/7), 6-2, 6-4. Williams, the United States’ best hope in the absence of her injured sister Serena, the current champion, risks being underdone after not playing a WTA tournament since the US Open.

“It’s only just a matter of believing that I can come out and play well even though I haven’t played as much as my opponents,” said Williams, who warmed up with an exhibition tournament in Hong Kong.

“I worked as hard as I could in the off-season — I worked hard to be here.” Williams has been something of an under-achiever at the Australian Open, reaching the final once, in 2003, but often falling early to unheralded opponents. She lost in the 2010 quarter-finals to China’s Li Na and went down in the second round in 2009 to Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain.

Let’s get it, Venus!!! Bring home that trophy!




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