Venus Williams started her 30th year on the WTA Tour with a victory over fellow American Katie Volynets at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand.
The 42-year-old beat Volynets, who is half her age, 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 and will play China’s Lin Zhu next.
Former world number one Williams made her Tour debut in October 1994.
She entered four tournaments as a wildcard in 2021, the only year since 1994 in which she did not win a singles match.
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Her victory over Volynets – who turned 21 on New Year’s Eve – was interrupted by rain during the first-set tie-break, which her opponent was leading.
But Volynets faded as the match stretched into the evening, with Williams wrapping up her first singles win since Wimbledon in 2021.
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