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Venus Williams starts 20th Roland Garros with victory
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Venus Williams starts 20th Roland Garros with victory

Willy Bantu

Venus Williams started her 20th French Open with a 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) win over China’s Wang Qiang on Sunday.

Williams, seeded 10 and three weeks shy of her 37th birthday, had to dig deep to see off her opponent who had led 4-2 in the first set and 5-3, with set points, in the second.

The American veteran, who made her Roland Garros debut in 1997 and was runner-up to sister Serena in Paris in 2002, will next face Japan’s Kurumi Nara.

Nara defeated 15-year-old Amanda Anisimova of the United States in three sets.

Serena may be missing from this year’s French Open, but her big sister looks committed to stamping the “Williams” name on the trophy, despite her senior citizens status.