Venus prevails in opening Cincinnati match

Venus Williams hits a shot during practice before the start of the Rogers Cup at the Aviva Centre. (Reuters pic/USA TODAY Sports)

NORTH CAROLINA: Former world number one Venus Williams moved through the first round of the Cincinnati Masters when she defeated compatriot Lauren Davis in straight sets on Monday.

Wild card Williams won 7-5 6-2 on centre court as she maintained her streak of never having lost a set to Davis, having beaten her four times.

Williams fended off seven of the eight break points she faced, and won 61% of points when returning the Davis second serve.

Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva and Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich earlier won three set matches.

Putintseva defeated Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia 6-2 7-6(3) 6-3 and Sasnovich beat Astra Sharma of Australia 6-1 4-6 6-1.