The Associated PressMONTREAL (AP) — Venus Williams advanced to the second round of the Rogers Cup after a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Caroline Dolehide on Monday.
The 14th-ranked Williams made quick work of her 19-year-old fellow American in the second set after coming from behind to win a back-and-forth first set.
The seven-time Grand Slam champion will now face either Sorana Cristea or Monica Niculescu in the second round.
It looked like an upset was in the cards in the early going.
The 124th-ranked Dolehide, who was making her Rogers Cup debut, jumped to a 3-1 lead in the first set after breaking Williams’ serve. One of just two teenagers in the main draw, Dolehide used her heavy service game and aggressive play to challenge Williams on every point. She finished the match with three aces. Williams had none.
But the 38-year-old veteran broke Dolehide back to take a 4-3 lead, and she did it again in the deciding game of the first set.
Dolehide, one of 12 qualifiers in the main draw, just couldn’t maintain the same pace in the second set, as Williams only lost 11 points on her way to victory.
“It’s never easy to play somebody you haven’t played before, and she definitely has a lot of talent,” Williams said. “She took advantage of it and I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before she’s able to play even better than today.”
Dolehide earned spot in the main draw of the U.S. Open on Monday when Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia withdrew because of an injured right shoulder.
Raonic starts strong in Toronto
TORONTO (AP) — Canada’s Milos Raonic got off to a strong start at the Rogers Cup, beating David Goffin of Belgium 6-3, 6-4 on Monday.
Raonic, who has fallen from No. 3 to No. 30 because of numerous injuries in recent seasons — including a quad tear at Wimbledon last month — used his powerful serve to his advantage, firing 13 aces to Goffin’s two and won 100 percent of his first serves.
“I think I can still serve much better, I don’t think I served particularly well,” Raonic said. “So I’ll take the time to work on some things tomorrow but overall it was a good performance. Mentally I was in the right state of mind the whole way through and I was very disciplined with myself.”