Venus Williams battles into second round of Cincinnati Masters


Venus Williams, who needed a wild card to play in the Cincinnati Masters, moved into the second round with a 6-3, 6-7, 6-2 win over 12th-seeded Maria Kirilenko of Russia last night.

After failing to capitalise in the fourth game of the first set when she was 40-0 up on Kirilenko's serve, Williams eventually went on to break to take a 5-3 lead, before serving out the set.

In the second set, Williams twice served for the match at 5-4 and 6-5, only to be broken on both occasions.

The American also had a mini-break in the tie-break only for Kirilenko to come storming back to claim the it 7-5 and level the match.

The deciding set turned out to be a no-contest as Williams broke Kirilenko's serve twice, the second time when the Russian was serving to stay in the match at 2-5, to advance to the second round of the competition.

Britain's Andy Murray is due to begin the defence of his title, in the men's event, today, starting against either Jurgen Melzer of Austria or Sam Querrey from the United States.