Williams serves warning after breaking Spears

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The Independent Online

The top seed, Venus Williams, strolled into the second round of the Korea Open yesterday, defeating the American qualifier Abigail Spears 6-2, 6-3.

Williams barely broke sweat as she used her powerful serve to dominate the match. In the opening set, Spears, with her right arm heavily strapped, failed to win a single point from Williams' first serve.

The second set continued in a similar vein. Williams broke again in the opening game and held off a late rally from Spears to complete the win.

In other first-round matches, the defending champion Eleni Daniilidou of Greece won a hard-fought match against Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-4; Martina Muller of Germany eased past the local hope Han Sung-Hee 6-1, 6-0; and the American Ahsha Rolle made short work of the Britain's Anne Keothavong, 6-1, 6-1.

In the first round of the Mumbai Open, the wildcard Nicolas Kiefer saw off the third-seeded Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 6-3 yesterday. Up a break at 4-3 on Monday before rain forced a premature end to play, the German wrapped up the match in 48 minutes.

"It was not easy today," Kiefer said. "He is a tough opponent. It's very humid here and takes time for one to adjust."

Kiefer, who is ranked 130 in the world and missed the second half of last season due to two wrist operations, broke the 24th-ranked Frenchman in the seventh and ninth games of the second set to win.

The fifth seed Fabrice Santoro beat his fellow Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-1, 6-2, in another first round match interrupted by rain.