Venus Williams went onto Rod Laver Arena right after Shelby Rogers’ upset win over fourth-seeded Simona Halep, a result which sent the former French Open finalist out in the first round of the Australian Open again.
Back-to-back first-round exits at the season’s first major was not how Williams planned to mark her 73rd Grand Slam tournament. The 36-year-old Williams made it two wins from two for American women on the center court at Melbourne Park on the first day, twice rallying from a break down in the first set to beat Kateryna Kozlova 7-6 (5), 7-5. Venus Williams The seven-time major winner lost in the first round of the Australian Open last year to eventual semifinalist Johanna Konta. Despite her 48 unforced errors, Williams made a more positive start this time. ‘It’s never easy playing the first round – you’re just trying to find the rhythm,’ Williams said. ‘She played amazing. It’s very satisfying to get through a match against an opponent who is on fire.’ Meanwhile, seventh-seeded Garbine Muguruza saved a set point in the first set, needed a medical timeout and had to fend off three break-point chances at 1-4 in the second set before advancing with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Marina Erakovic.