MONTREAL — Venus Williams opened
play in the Rogers Cup on Wednesday
with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Barbora
Strycova.
Playing her last event before the Rio
Olympics, the 36-year-old Williams
finished off the overmatched Czech player
in 58 minutes. Williams was coming a
loss to Britain’s Johanna Konta on
Sunday in the final of the Bank of the
West Classic in California.
“It was definitely more straightforward
than some of our other matches,”
Williams said. “I’m never happy with my
matches. Even an easy scoreline is never
enough. But it’s about figuring out how to
win instead of playing perfect.”
The seven-time Grand Slam champion,
seeded sixth, gave up 10 points in the 24-
minute second set.
The only hiccup for Williams was the
seventh game of the first set. Up 4-2, she
had her serve broken.
“I just needed to stay focused,” said
Williams. “A 4-4 is definitely different
than a 5-3. But it wasn’t necessarily a
turning point, because there are matches
where I’ve been down and came back,
and vice versa, so you realize that the
match isn’t over until it’s over.”
Williams will face Madison Keys in the
third round. Keys beat fellow American
Madison Brengle 6-4, 6-3.
Konta also advanced, topping Vania King
of the United States 7-5, 6-1.
At night, second-seeded Angelique Kerber
of Germany beat Croatia’s Mirjana Lucic-
Baroni 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
Fourth-seed Agnieszka Radwanska of
Poland topped Monica Niculescu of
Romania 6-1, 7-5; seventh-seeded
Roberta Vinci topped fellow Italian Camila
Giorgi 2-6, 6-3, 6-4; and Slovakia’s
Kristina Kucova beat eighth-seeded Carla
Suarez Navarro of Spain 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Hometown favorite Eugenie Bouchard
beat a higher-ranked opponent for the
second straight day, topping 11th-seeded
Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-2, 6-0.
On Tuesday, Bouchard beat Lucie
Safarova. Bouchard will face qualifier
Kucova in the third round.
Montreal’s Francoise Abanda tumbled
out, falling 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3) to Ukraine’s
Elina Svitolina.

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