Tennis: Serena advances, but Venus falls in Indian Wells return

AP , Saturday 12 Mar 2016

Serena Williams
Serena Williams, of the United States, returns a shot to Laura Siegemund, of Germany, at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Friday, March 11, 2016, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP)

Serena Williams capped a festive day for the Williams family at the BNP Paribas Open with an easy 6-2, 6-1 win over qualifier Laura Siegemund of Germany in a second round match Friday night.

That came after Venus Williams lost her first match at the event since 2001, falling 6-4, 6-3 to Japanese qualifier Kurumi Nara in front of a sparse, wind-blown crowd that returned after a rain-delay midway through the first set.

Venus Williams played at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden for the first time since she, Serena and father Richard were booed and heckled after Venus withdraw from her semifinal against Serena because of an injury. On Friday, Venus received standing ovations before and after her error-filled, second-round match.

''It's been a wonderful moment,'' she said. ''Everyone could have picked up where they left off, but everyone was welcoming. It was a great day.''

Bothered by the gusty wind, she was most prominent of the upset victims.

Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, the No. 3 seed, rallied from a 4-1 deficit and to thwart Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5; and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, the No. 8 seed from the Czech Republic, needed a third-set tiebreaker in a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (5) victory over Danka Kovinic of Montenegro.

No. 11 seed Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic lost 6-4, 6-4 to Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan.

Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine upset No. 15 seed Sara Errani of Italy 6-4, 6-3, and 19th-seeded Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, last year's runner-up and the 2010 champion, rolled over Carina Witthoeft of Germany 6-1, 6-3 to set up a third-round match against American Coco Vandeweghe, a 6-4, 6-3 winner over two-time Grand Slam champion and No. 16 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia.

Last year's champion Simona Halep of Romania beat American Vania King 6-1, 6-1.

Gilles Muller of Luxembourg and Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan were early men's first-round winners. Muller beat Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic, 7-5, 6-3, and Kukushkin took a 7-6 (1), 6-2 decision from Daniel Munoz de la Nava of Spain. Muller will face No. 4 seed Rafael Nadal, while Kukushkin set up a match against No. 5 Kei Nishikori.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link: