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 and 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.
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. DAILY TRUST