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By Greg Stutchbury
MELBOURNE Jan 20 Venus Williams joined her
younger sister Serena in the second round of the Australian Open
after crafting a 6-3 6-3 victory over Germany's Angelique Kerber
Sixth seed Williams, who is still seeking her first title at
Melbourne Park despite having five Wimbledon and two U.S. Open
titles, raced out to a 5-0 first set before her left-handed
opponent finally offered some resistance.
"I think she played well. She was left handed and I think
she used that to her advantage," Williams told reporters. "She
definitely started to play really well.
"I was really happy to be able to be out there and hit a lot
of balls and find a rhythm and advance."
After Williams took the 5-0 first-set lead, the world number
100 then won the next three games and saved a set point.
The 28-year-old Williams, however, snapped out of her funk
to hold serve and take the first set and said she was not too
worried about the German's fightback.
"She was going for a lot in those first five games, a lot
really fast, trying to hit winners, great shots. I think she
started to get a few more in play," Williams said of Kerber's
"At 5-3, I still feel extremely confident because I'm
serving. It's what I want to do, is serve it out. So I felt
Kerber put up a tougher challenge in the second, having two
opportunities on serve to take a 4-1 lead.
Williams again responded to level at 3-3 and broke to take a
4-3 lead, at which point Kerber sought treatment on her heavily
strapped right knee.
The injury break only delayed the inevitable and the world
number six steamrolled to victory by holding serve and breaking
to love to seal the win in 80 minutes.
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Peter Rutherford and