Tennis

Venus Williams reaches Cincinnati second round

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CINCINNATI (AP)

Venus Williams, who needed a wild card to play in the Western & Southern Open, advanced to the second round with a 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2 win over 12th-seeded Maria Kirilenko of Russia on Tuesday.

Another American wild card, Sloane Stephens, moved on with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova, while Anna Tatishvili of Georgia eliminated Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic 7-6 (5), 7-5.

Sweden's Sofia Arvidsson advanced when Austria's Tamira Paszek retired trailing 6-1, 2-1. In two matchups of qualifiers, Sesil Karatantcheva of Kazakhstan cruised past Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 6-2, 6-1, and the Czech Republic's Andrea Hlavackova defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States 6-3, 7-5.

In men's first-round action, Japan's Kei Nishikori easily defeated Marcel Granollers of Spain, 6-1, 6-2.

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