Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Just like old times for Venus

Venus Williams, who was off the tour for about five months with a hip injury, wears a new outfit and routs Akgul Amanmuradova.

Getty Images

Venus Williams, who was off the tour for about five months with a hip injury, wears a new outfit and routs Akgul Amanmuradova.

WIMBLEDON, England — Back on one of tennis' top stages, Venus Williams cut a familiar figure Monday at Wimbledon, from her latest original, somewhat see-through outfit to her trademark booming serves and aggressive groundstrokes.

Williams smacked seven aces at up to 118 mph, totaled 23 winners to five unforced errors and overwhelmed 97th-ranked Akgul Amanmuradova 6-3, 6-1 in the first round at the All England Club.

The seven-time major champion recently was off the tour for about five months with a bum hip and missed the French Open. This is only her fourth tournament in nearly a year.

"It's a good place to start. And this is kind of like a home for her. She loves it," said Williams' hitting partner, David Witt. "She feels confident out here, and in women's tennis, 'confident' goes a long way."

There sure was nothing shy about a playsuit Williams called "trendy": white and sleeveless, with a deep "V" neckline, a triangle cut out in the back, a gold belt and gold zipper.

"Jumpers are very 'now,' " she explained, "as is lace."

Williams' outfit and her superb play generated the most buzz on Day 1.

"I do realize I don't have as many matches," said Williams, only 5-2 this season and 9-3 since July. "So, yeah, for sure, I know I need to kind of come out firing. Been pretty good at that in the past, and (Monday)."

Williams next faces Kimiko Date-Krumm, 40, whose 6-0, 7-5 defeat of British wild-card entry Katie O'Brien was her first victory at Wimbledon since reaching the 1996 semifinals.

Others reaching the second round included 10-time major champion Rafael Nadal, whose parents sat in the Royal Box during his 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 victory over 90th-ranked Michael Russell; No. 4 Andy Murray; and No. 10 Mardy Fish of Tampa.

It was Nadal's first chance to play the tournament's opening match on Centre Court, an honor given to the defending men's champion, and something he called a "big emotion." Bad knees forced Nadal to withdraw in 2009, a year after he won Wimbledon for the first time.

Nadal now faces another American, 69th-ranked Ryan Sweeting of Fort Lauderdale, who rallied past Pablo Andujar 3-6, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 ( 7-1), 6-1.

The most significant development probably was the rain that began falling at about 5 p.m., resulting in the suspension of 14 matches in progress and the postponement of 17 others.

More rain is forecast today.

>>FAST FACTS

Wimbledon

Through July 3 at All England Club, London

Today's key matches

Men: No. 2 Novak Djokovic vs. Jeremy Chardy, No. 3 Roger Federer vs. Mikhail Kukushkin, No.  8 Andy Roddick vs. Andreas Beck, John Isner vs. Nicolas Mahut

Women: No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki vs. Arantxa Parra Santonja, No. 3 Li Na vs. Alla Kudryavtseva, No. 7 Serena Williams vs. Aravane Rezai

TV: 7 a.m., ESPN2

Just like old times for Venus 06/20/11 [Last modified: Monday, June 20, 2011 9:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over 'inappropriate conduct' (w/ video)

    College

    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  2. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.
  3. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Good news for Rays on Steven Souza Jr. as MRI shows 'no damage' to hip

    Blogs

    The Rays got good news today on RF Steven Souza Jr., as an MRI showed "no damage" to his left hip.

    Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays holds his leg after hurting himself trying to steal second base in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on July 19, 2017 in Oakland, California.
  5. Bucs raise prices for single tickets to marquee games

    Blogs

    The Bucs will have single-game tickets for 2017 home games on sale July 28, with a new wrinkle: the best games will cost more for fans.

    Bucs fans cheer Jameis Winston after a victory in their final home game of the 2016 season. Individual tickets for the Bucs' three most coveted home games (against the Patriots, Bears and Giants) will cost more in 2017.