Venus Williams wins opening match at Wimbledon
LONDON -- Venus Williams won her first tennis match since being sued by the estate of a Florida man who died after a car crash police say she caused.
The 10th-seeded Williams beat Elise Mertens 7-6 (7), 6-4 Monday in the first round at Wimbledon, a tournament the American has won five times.
Last week, Williams was sued by the estate of a Florida man who died 13 days after a car crash. The lawsuit came one day after Palm Beach Gardens police released a report saying Williams caused the June 9 crash.
On No. 1 Court, Williams had to wait through a 33-minute rain delay to win her opening match. She had two match points before the rain came. Play was stopped with Williams leading 5-3 and at 40-40 in the second set.
When play resumed, Mertens held serve to make it 5-4, but Williams served out the match.
Defending champion Andy Murray also won his opening match, beating Alexander Bublik 6-1, 6-4, 6-2.
Rafael Nadal was due to play next on No. 1 Court, while Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion who was injured in a knife attack at her home late last year, was due next on Centre Court.
Second-seeded Simona Halep and No. 17 Madison Keys also won Monday. Halep, who lost in this year’s French Open final, beat Marina Erakovic of New Zealand 6-4, 6-1. Keys defeated Nao Hibino of Japan 6-4, 6-2.
Keys, who is right-handed, was playing for the first time since having a second surgery on her left wrist.
“It’s obviously not perfect,” Keys said. “I haven’t been able to do the repetitions that ideally I would have wanted to do, but it feels fine. Doesn’t hurt anymore. That’s really all I care about.”
In the men’s draw, Nick Kyrgios retired from his first-round match after losing the first two sets.
The 20th-seeded Australian was trailing Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France 6-3, 6-4 when he called for a trainer to work on his left hip. He then decided to stop the match.
Kyrgios also retired with an injury from his first-round match at Queen’s, a Wimbledon warm-up tournament.
“I kind of knew I was in trouble. I have been feeling my hip ever since I fell over at Queen’s. Never got it right,” Kyrgios said. “I was doing everything I could to help it, but just not enough time.”
Two-time semifinalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also reached the second round. The 12th-seeded Frenchman beat Cameron Norrie of Britain 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.
Ninth-seeded Kei Nishikori and 24th-seeded Sam Querrey also advanced.
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