Relaxed Williams racking up the wins

Venus Williams arrived at the Pilot Pen today on a roll after winning her last three tournaments.

Venus Williams arrived at the Pilot Pen today on a roll after winning her last three tournaments.

Tendinitis in both wrists kept her out of competition until May, and the downtime gave the 20-year-old star time to think.

"I felt that tennis was a lot more simpler than I was making it out to be," she said. "In reality, tennis is not too complex. There's some strategy, and in my case, a lot of power."

Her 123 mph (198 kph) serve is still the fastest recorded on tour. Williams began her string of wins in style. She overpowered Lindsay Davenport to win Wimbledon. She beat Davenport again two weeks later in Stanford, California, and then won in San Diego, beating Monica Seles in the final.

"Once I started really having fun and making sure I enjoyed the battles, I think that helped me play a lot better," Williams said.

She begins defense of her Pilot Pen title Tuesday, taking on Elena Likhovtseva in a second-round match. Williams holds a 4-0 edge in the series.

Likhovtseva advanced Monday, beating Tathiana Garbin 6-1, 6-3.

"I won't try to out outhit her, that's for sure," Likhovtseva said. "But I'll be able to return all the serves."

In a night match, fifth-seeded Amanda Coetzer beat Karina Habsudova 7-6 (2), 6-4. Coetzer, who defeated Williams in straight sets in Hamburg, Germany, said stronger players are getting to be the norm on tour and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

"I feel like I've lifted my game. Everybody's starting to hit the ball harder. I'm getting used to the big serve," said Coezter, looking for her second victory of the year.

Sixth-seeded Dominique Van Roost advanced with a 7-6 (2), 6-4 victory over Magdalena Maleeva.

Also advancing Monday was Kristina Brandi, a wildcard entry who beat qualifier Anne Kremer 7-6 (3), 6-1. She plays second-seeded Monica Seles Tuesday. Meghann Shaugnessy defeated Ruxandra Dragomir 6-4, 6-1 to set up a match with third-seeded Nathalie Tauziat. Silvija Talaja beat Anne-Gaelle Sidot 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.

Results from the $535,000 Pilot Pen Sanex WTA Tour hard-court tournament:

Singles - First Round

Kristina Brandi, United States, def. Anne Kremer, Luxembourg, 7-6 (3), 6-1. Elena Likhovtseva, Russia, def. Tathiana Garbin, Italy, 6-1, 6-3. Meghann Shaughnessy, United States, def. Ruxandra Dragomir, Romania, 6-4, 6-1. Silvija Talaja, Croatia, def. Anne-Gaelle Sidot, France, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2. Dominique Van Roost (6), Belgium, def. Magdalena Maleeva, Bulgaria, 7-6 (2), 6-4. Amanda Coetzer (5), South Africa, def. Karina Habsudova, Slovakia, 7-6 (2), 6-4.

Doubles - First Round

Kveta Hrdlickova, Czech Republic, and Patty Schnyder, Switzerland, def. Sabine Appelmans, Belgium, and Kimberly Po, United States, 6-2, 6-1. Leizel Horn, South Africa, and Laura Montalvo, Argentina, def. Jelena Dokic, Australia, and Jelena Kostanic, Croatia, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
peopleBroadcaster has a new role bringing 'the big stories that matter' to US
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Life and Style
Moves to regulate e-cigarettes and similar products as medicines come amid increasing evidence of their effectiveness
healthHuge anti-smoking campaign kicks off on Wednesday
Life and Style
fashionEveryone, apparently
Voices
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
art
Arts and Entertainment
Shia LaBeouf is one of Brad Pitt's favourite actors in the world ever, apparently
filmsAn 'eccentric' choice, certainly
Life and Style
An Internet security expert has warned that voice recognition technology needs to be more secure
techExperts warn hackers could control our homes or spend our money simply by speaking
Extras
indybest
News
peopleBenjamin Netanyahu trolled by group promoting two-state solution
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style