Venus Williams

Normal service is resumed as Venus dazzles once again

Even a rusty saw can perform an amputation, and Venus Williams duly made short work of some of the more tenuous delusions that have preceded her return to her favourite theatre of operations. She took exactly an hour to hack her way past an obligingly limp first-round opponent, Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan, 6-3, 6-1. So much for the notion that even the Williams sisters, who have divided nine of the past 11 titles between them, might have ceded the pack a dangerous start this time.

Venus' return blown out by Hantuchova

It is doubtful whether Daniela Hantuchova flounced back into the locker room at Devonshire Park and proudly proclaimed, "No one beats Daniela Hantuchova 11 times in a row", as Vitas Gerulaitis was supposed to have done after ending a run of 16 consecutive defeats to Jimmy Connors.

Beware the wounded Williams sisters

The queens of the grass courts are finally fit after months on the sidelines and they have just one aim for Eastbourne and Wimbledon – winning

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Serena forced into top gear to tame Sharapova

Those ingrates to whom the miracle of the Williams sisters has lost its freshness will have been especially vexed that Maria Sharapova, one of the only females in the species competent to interrupt their duopoly here, should be flung into the path of Serena as early as the fourth round. By the same token, the seeding committee will be the toast of those privileged yesterday to witness what would have made a pretty good final.