Williams eases past Bencic

Published: Monday 16th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Defending champion Venus Williams eased into the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship with a straight sets victory over Belinda Bencic.

The American, seeded eighth for the tournament, secured a 6-1 6-2 win over her Swiss opponent, who was broken five times and saved seven more break points in a one-sided contest.

Karolina Pliskova chalked up her 13th win of the WTA season with a straight sets success over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Pliskova, a semi-finalist in Antwerp last week, has the most victories on tour in 2015 and made short work of her Russian opponent with a 6-2 6-4 win, fininishing in style with three successive games.

Eleventh seed Lucie Safarova had an even more straightforward outing, brushing aside Monica Puig 6-1 6-4, while China’s Shuai Peng, seeded 16th, saw off Elena Vesnina 7-5 6-1.

In the final match on court Daniela Hantuchova justified her wildcard by defeating world number 39 Mona Barthel 7-6 (7/5) 3-6 6-3 in a match lasting two hours and 39 minutes.

Briton Heather Watson suffered a disappointing return to tour action as she was sent crashing out by world number 132 Kateryna Kozlova.

In her first tour match since losing to Tsvetana Pironkova in the opening round of the Australian Open last month, Watson was broken once in the first set and three times in the second by the 20-year-old Ukrainian qualifier in a 6-4 7-5 defeat.

Qiang Wang was the second successful qualifier, courtesy of a 5-7 6-1 7-5 defeat of Kurumi Nara.

Cagla Buyukakcay, Barbora Zahlavovastrycova, Garbine Muguruza, Camila Giorgi and Elina Svitolina also progressed to the second round, the latter after Coco Vandeweghe retired four games into their match-up.

Published: Monday 16th February 2015 by The News Editor

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